Thursday, April 22, 2010

A Timely Word:: The Myth of Being The Perfect Parent

This morning was rough. Let me preface with one thing:: V has been gone all week.

Titus woke as usual just after Justus around 6:30. We hung out, got dressed for school and I noticed Titus was acting out a bit here and there, but that's not all that abnormal in the rush of getting off to school. His acting out sorta turned to, what seemed to be a sadness. So as I helped him put his tennis shoes on I asked him if he was okay. He started to cry and say he missed V and so we got his shoes on and called Dad. He got to leave a voicemail and that helped. I asked him what else he thought would make this morning get better, and being a product of his mother's weakness, he replied, "Starbucks for breakfast!" So I agreed, telling him that was a great idea and we got in the car and left. All was well.

We pulled in the drive thru and I confirmed with Titus what he wanted. He said he didnt want chocolate milk today he wanted hot chocolate so I proceeded in line and ordered. When we received our ordered I handed it back to Titus and at that moment he realized he didnt want hot chocolate he wanted chocolate milk. Cue MELT DOWN. As he melted down I told him I would keep the Hot Chocolate until he could receive it gratefully. Cue BIGGER MELT DOWN, I am talking flailing and all. Then something different happened. Usually the meltdown will come, we talk a bit about self-control and grateful hearts and all is well in the world of Titus. But not the today. Today, the more I talked the more he got upset until finally he yelled at me. And I am talking YELLED. He told me I was so mean. (as I held a HIS starbucks drink in my hand mind you!) So taken aback, I started crying. Girls, I am not talking just a little tear, I am talking full on ugly, cant control yourself cry. I had a whilwind of emotions:: hurt, guilt from all the transition we have put him through, guilt from not knowing how to handle the situation, guilt from taking him to starbucks to make his morning better instead of pointing him to Christ who is the only one who can truly help, fear for his life, his salvation, fear of his depravity and back to hurt.

Y'all, I know that seems a little dramatic of a response to a 5 year old's yell, but it was so real to me. I went from being hurt that he would ever say I was purposely being mean to him to agonizing over the state of his soul. I generally can handle situations like this but not today folks, not today. My emotions won. The depth of responsibilty to present the Gospel to our children, the Good News of God's saving power out of sin and death and the idea that I HAVE NO CONTROL over God's leading and prodding and presuing my very son overwelmed me. As he yelled in the depths of his selfishness, I was hurt, but more importantly, I was reminded that he is depraved, as we all are apart from Christ. And began to beg God to forgive me for thinking I could be "a certain kind of mom" or do certain things that would win his little heart to Christ. I began to beg God to set Titus and Justus apart for HIS glory.

As we drove, we both stopped crying and forgave each other. After we prayed, I dropped him off at school a happy little man. While sitting in the car outside his school I checked twitter on my iPhone. On it there was a link to a friend of mine's blog entitled:: THE MYTH OF BEING THE PERFECT PARENT. I went straight for it and recieved such encouragement from it. She said, "The goal is not to be a perfect parent. The goal is to be a faithful parent. And as long as my focus is on my own success or failure, rather than faithfulness to and love for the kingdom of God, I have failed." And although my friend is in a different stage of parenting than I am, it was a timely word for me and I told you this entire story hoping that same blog would be a timely word for you.

and read it is so good. Thanks Kim!


Harris Family said...

Wow, thanks for sharing this Amber! God has given you great revelation about how to raise Godly children. You are doing an awesome job, my friend! Glory to God!

Sara S. said...

I am a faithful follower of your blog and most days they are so timely...exactly what I have been struggling with or just needing to be reminded of. Today you did it once again. I have a four year old and a 4 month old...and I am continually trying to be the perfect parent and the kind of parent that will cause my kiddos to love Jesus and be faithful followers of Him...Your post was just what I needed today. Thank you!

gregandkim77 said...

Love you sweet friend. Thanks for your brutal honesty. I would squeeze your neck if I could reach you.

Adam, Connie, Josiah, and Bella said...

thank you amber. I needed these words today. It is so easy for me to get caught in the trap of trying to appear a certain way as a parent. Parenting reveals my sin like nothing else! Love you friend

Cole. Jeana. Javik. said...

Amber... once again, straight to the depths of my heart! It's so encouraging to know that we are not the only ones struggling to be good parents: not perfect, but faithful!
AND how encouraging to hear from a mom who is so faithful in speaking God's truth into the lives of her children. I want you to know that YOU encourage ME =)
And I have to tell you that, although I was inspired by all of the things you said, I was most in awe of the fact that while you were single-momming the morning, after a dual-meltdown AND a trip to Starbucks to make the day better, your child was still at school ON TIME! One meltdown at my house (no matter whose it may be) throws a wrench in my whole system!
Love you!!

The Dodds said...

This was so encouraging to me this morning!

brittany said...

Thanks for posting this, Amber! It has ministered to me the past few days. I appreciate your thoughts and reminders of where our focus needs to be. I had to link to it when I wrote a post today!