Michael Kruger reminds us of the importance of God’s grace in parenting. Have you learned to fail well in parenting?
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I’m coming up on almost 18 years of parenting now. Our oldest daughter is 17 and a half, and we have two others at ages 14 and 11. It’s been such a joy and a journey, and I get asked all the time about what I think about parenting and what advice I would give. And I think about the advice I’ve received over the years, and I have received some great and encouraging advice about what it means to be a dad.
When I think back on the last 18 years, I realize that God’s grace must be at the center of you do as a father. And what I mean by that is that you’re going to make mistakes as a dad, you’re going to fail and fall short. I think one of the best pieces of advice I ever received was, “Don’t think you have to be a perfect father to be a blessing to your children.”
In fact, I think sometimes parents get stuck in this mode of, “How can I be as perfect as I possibly can be?” And we get very distraught when we fail as parents because we think we’ve ruined our children’s lives and that they’ll never recover. But I was reminded that, “You’re a sinner trying to raise other sinners, and you’re going to make mistakes.”
And one of the best things you can do as a parent is know how to fail in front of your children, and even repent and apologize to them, and also live a life of repentance before their eyes knowing that you are in need of the grace of Jesus Christ every day. So that, I think, is one of the best takeaways as a parent. It’s not just sharing the gospel with your children, not just teaching the gospel to your children, but exemplifying the gospel in your own life by acknowledging your own sin, your own need of grace, and regularly turning to Christ for forgiveness and mercy.