Guilty As Charged



I’m going to confess some things. And I’m going to pray that after this confession CPS doesn’t show up at my front door step.


  • I don’t spend even an hour a day in uninterrupted quality time with each of my children. OK, not even 15 minutes a day…
  • My children do one sport. It’s the same one for all of them: basketball. My kids didn’t pick the sport. Bill and I did.
  • We may never take our kids to Disney World.
  • My girls don’t take dance lessons even though many of their friends do and even though my girls beg to take dance lessons. And just so you know, we have some mad dance parties in our house, so it’s not cuz we think dancing is a sin.
  • We don’t eat organic. In fact, we love french fries. The processed and fast food kinds.
  • Related to the one above, I don’t always include fruits or vegetables with every meal. Often starches overtake everything else.
  • Sometimes we eat dinner on the couch while watching a movie (I’m noticing a food trend here).
  • There have been times I’ve been at a store and have seen something that I thought one of my children might enjoy. I’ve bought it for him or her and not bought something for the siblings.

I wish you all could know how many hours I’ve lost sleep over the above statements and many others like them. This is not a joke, people, and I would bet many of you have fretted a comparable amount over similar decisions. According to the jury of my own heart, I often believe actions like these declare me guilty of bad parenting.

But why do I feel so guilty?  As a Christian, doesn’t any condemnation I have flow from God’s perfection and my utter imperfection?  Though I would never claim to be innocent on this charge of bad parenting, my guilt is not determined by parenting magazines & books, friends, newspapers, co-workers and neighbors, or my own opinions.  That guilt I have is generated and false, not a result of repentance toward God but a social pressure to parent in such and such a way.  And that’s just bogus.

Instead, the standard by which I judge my parenting is from a totally different source.  And it may not be the one you’re thinking.  Because even in Christian circles, we have our own ways of making up parenting rules to feel guilty about just that—rules.  And Jesus died to set us free because we can’t follow the rules.  That’s why I truly am guilty of being a bad parent and so much more.  That’s why we need a savior.

On Friday, that’s where Bill will pick up this theme.


7 thoughts on “Guilty As Charged

  1. I’ll return the confession favor… I read this article while my daughter was in her bed calling, “Mommy, mommy, moooommmmmmmy!”.

  2. Hey Courtney! We just started doing foster care and nothing on your list would cause CPS to show up at your door! LOL! No where in the Bible does it say spend individual time each day with your children, or take them to disney world, or give them dance lessons or let them play every sport. It says train them in the way they should go and when they are old they will not depart from it. The Bible also says love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength; and love your neighbor as yourself. This is best done in the group setting of a family at home, not on the sidelines of a sporting event. Love you guys!

  3. Courtney, I love this post! Plan to read your blog because I already feel like someone else feels like I do. I worry constantly that I’m not a good parent but I look at my son and he tells me he loves me and then I think…I must not be that bad. Thank you for this…needed it today!

  4. Excellent! Love your honesty and that you’re not willing to give in to the “false guilt” that we are tempted to feel by comparing ourselves to other Christian friends. Glad that you are keeping your eyes on the Lord and what He has for your family! Love you!!

  5. Hey, look at all the horrible parenting foul-ups I committed while you and Josh were little, and yet, by God’s wonderful grace, both of you have grown into beautiful adults whom I’m grateful to call mine. Love you!!!

  6. Both my kids are grown, married and one has children of their own. Yet, there are still times I feel guilt for doing the same things on your list 20 years ago!
    So Thank You for your honesty and insight and helping me get over mis- placed guilt! One less hold the Devil has on this old lady 🙂
    Love you guys!!

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