Hollianne and I have been blessed with three beautiful children. Our three have brought so much joy and laughter into our home- and lives. They aren’t perfect, but neither are we. These past 19 years as parents have been a wild, wonderful adventure.
Parenting is hard. Really hard. I’ve made enough mistakes to fill a volume of books.
We want guide them without being too overbearing. We want them to develop without trying to make them something that they “aren’t.” We try to protect them without trying to hover. These are fine lines to walk.
I was talking to a mentor recently. We were talking about raising kids- and the difficulty in being a dad. He told me about times when he was younger when he had been tough on his children. Perhaps they had disappointed or disobeyed him. We talked about our tendency to “overcorrect” their behavior- over even overreact when we learn of their mistakes. He had, however, grown from these experiences… and and he talked about the great relationships he enjoyed with his children as young adults.
It’s human nature…as we love our kids and want them to grow and mature into complete, responsible adults. But we discussed how inappropriate, rash responses can hurt relationships. The wrong response can build walls between you and your children. They may be afraid of how you’ll respond. They might be unwilling to share their mistakes in the future.
I’ve spent quite a bit of time in the book of James this month. Chapter 2 talks about passing judgement. Two verses pricked my heart this week:
“So speak and so act as those who are to be judged under the law of liberty. For judgement is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgement.” James 2: 12-13
Mercy triumphs over judgement.
Four powerful words that apply to all aspects of our lives. But for this week- they have special meaning for my relationship with my children.
Children need discipline. It needs, however, to be appropriate. I want my kids to come to me when they’ve messed up or need advice. I don’t want them to be afraid that I’ll pass undue judgement. I’ve been in their shoes. I’ve made their mistakes.
They need more mercy and less judgement.
My prayer this week is to seek wisdom and discernment as a parent. I want to be a more effective father. I want to be a model for consistency.
They deserve it.
Let me know how I may pray for you.