Tuesday, April 1, 2014

There are no perfect parents.

I do not want to give you the false impression that things are always rosy at the Blanshan house.  I try not to write anything bad about my wife and kids.  First, because I grew up as a P.K. (preacher’s kid), and I know that every word I say publicly has an impact on my kids.  Second, because I want to notice the best in my family (and everyone really).   And lastly, because I am way blessed and I know it; my family is awesome. 

But that does not mean that Sarah and I are the perfect parents, and that my girls are always well behaved little angels.  Please do not use us as your role models.  We are still new to this gig and we are far from having all the kinks worked out.  Look for some older, successful parents who have grown children with hearts after Jesus.  These veterans deserve our respect and we should listen to their advice.  But even they will tell you: there are no perfect parents.

Do you know what High Priest Aaron, Samuel the prophet, and King David had in common?  They were all men in ministry who were terrible fathers.  David’s parenting led to civil war, twice!  Joseph and Mary were called by God to parent Jesus, but even they lost their son in a strange city for three days.  They could certainly sympathize with every parent who has ever lost track of their child for a few minutes.

I want to be the perfect Dad, and sometimes I even trick myself into thinking that I am for a little while.  Then God brings me back to earth.  Sarah goes to work, and I am left alone with one who wants to be held but will not take a bottle and another who poops in the bathtub.

My poor girls have to live with my clumsy parenting all the time.  It seems like every time I turn around I accidentally bonk one of them or scare them.  I am always apologizing to them for something.  Even as I sit here I realize that I have forgotten once again to brush Bethel’s teeth.  They also see me when I am at my worst, when I come home tired, or when I am the most self-absorbed. 

My biggest fear is that I will teach them my flaws.  I cannot help but think about Isaac who repeated the mistakes of his father Abraham.  I do not want my girls to inherit my bad habits, and I have plenty.  What I do know is that I cannot hide my flaws from my girls.  It would be impossible and they would not be able to learn from my mistakes.

So the bad news is that there are no perfect parents, but that is the good news too.  God works through imperfect people all the time.  Plenty of imperfect people, like Mary and Joseph, have parented imperfectly and gotten great results.  My job is to do my best, be honest with my kids, and pray hard.  Actually, I am wrong again.  There is at least one perfect Father, and thank goodness.

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