There are so, so, so, so many mistakes I make every day. I’d try to count them, but I don’t think it’s possible to count that high. Messing up is a part of being human. God says we can’t be perfect and we shouldn’t hold ourselves to a standard of never making a mistake. Being a firstborn….this is especially difficult for me.
I grew up thinking if I would be perfect my parents would be happy. I know now that they had their own struggles which had nothing to do with me, but at the time the “perfection problem” imprinted on me and I spent my young years trying to avoid ever being wrong or in error. That meant I was defensive and angry, because of course, I constantly messed things up. I’d wake up late or forget something or get a test question wrong or act mean to my siblings and that little voice inside told me, “You’re worthless.”
Then in my early 20s I met Jesus. Through His love He gently showed me that I had a problem with trying to be perfect and helped me get past it. There was a lot of healing for my sad heart and I discovered where my worth came from and nothing I did wrong or messes I made could ever cause me to lose that. If you need freedom from the lie of constantly trying to be perfect I want to pray for you and encourage you that Christ is your answer!
When I became a mom there was a whole new level of making mistakes. Man, if I had a nickel for every motherhood blunder I’ve made I could buy a Hollywood mansion and fly you all out for a visit! And my kids see them…..all of my flaws. When I get upset over unwashed dishes or forget a promise I made them or cry over nothing, they have a front row seat. After all, we’re living together and doing life together. There’s no way to hide our mistakes and we shouldn’t even try!
In fact, it’s a blessing for them to see that we mess up. It’s an opportunity for us to point them to Christ. Every time I forget a promise I can remind them (and myself) that God keeps all of His promises. When I get upset over nothing I can show them all about humility and forgiveness. And when I cry, God is my source of strength. I am so thankful to be able to show my children a NEED for GOD!
Just last weekend I was worn out from the trials of my daily life. I was grumpy and short tempered and ruining everyone else’s day. I finally told my kids, “I’m sorry. I am feeling really grumpy today, but that doesn’t mean I can be rude. I’m going to take some time to pray and ask God to help me cheer up.” I went to my bedroom for about 20 minutes and prayed then turned on some praise music and soon I was feeling uplifted and ready to go back and face the family again. They accepted my apology and the mood in the whole house lifted. Letting the kids see that God is my answer teaches them that He is their answer, too.
Don’t be afraid to make mistakes and let your child see how you handle it. Cleaning up a mess not only points to God, but it shows our kids they can safely make mistakes, too. Mom and Dad, you’re the best teacher of God’s mercy and grace for your child. Use every flub of yours as a faith building tool! Just like God did for me when I was younger by freeing me of my desire to be perfect, He can free you of the idea that you should be some kind of super-mom. It’s not true and we just wear ourselves out trying! Believe it or not, making mistakes helps our children. The next time you make a mistake, laugh about it and let the light of Christ shine through it.
Let’s go make some mistakes and watch God use us for His glory in our children’s lives!
To take this conversation further, check out The Parable of the Lily. It’s a sweet story of grace and forgiveness and perfect for the Easter season!
How have you allowed your mess ups to point your kids to God?