“Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6)
With today being National Single Parents’ Day, I thought sharing a few words of encouragement was fitting. When my daughter was 3, I began my journey of teaching as I learned. As I studied the Word of God, I often asked God to show me how to apply what I was reading to the life I was living. As I learned, I taught it to my daughter. I was met with so much opposition. When we were at church more than we were at home, I was told that my parenting wasn’t balanced. My family and friends’ response to limiting sleep-overs and my lack of dating was, “Jill, it doesn’t take all that”. Meanwhile, those same people were watching and waiting to catch me in my parental failures. And there were bunches.
Now that my baby is an adult, those same naysayers are constantly telling what a great job I did. The truth is, I didn’t. I made mistakes daily. I yelled A LOT. I went from being extremely strict to loosening the reigns a little too much. Sometimes I felt like the rope, that I used to bring her back in, had been cut. We went through many of the same challenges that every mother/daughter duo has experienced. One queen of the castle and a princess who thought she was queen. There were some days that it got ugly, but I never stopped being her Mom.
We survived. She is now a college graduate and is approaching her second wedding anniversary. The same young lady who used to make it clear that she wasn’t interested in the Bible nor prayer, now prays with and for me without asking. She even calls with excitement as the Word of God comes to life in her times of study.
I don’t regret the journey of parenting. The only regrets I have are those times that God gave me specific instructions and I disobeyed. Especially the times I started out obeying and then allowed my emotions to take me in the wrong direction. Those are the mistakes that weren’t really mistakes. They were disobedience and all disobedience is sin. Fortunately, we have a Savior who has already paid the penalty for sin. If you are beating yourself up for your failures in parenting repent(1John 1:9), get up, dust yourself off and get back to work. Take full advantage of God’s mercy. What better lesson to teach your children.