Everybody dreams of a perfect family. Even though we know it doesn’t exist, we still feel guilty when we fall so far short. While rearing our three children, Sarah and I were there many times. I remember well what it is like to win a battle but realize I might be losing the war. As parents we were not perfect, as Sarah relays in this story:
One day in a conversation with our oldest son, Jonathan, he said to me, “Mom, you wanted a perfect family, and you didn’t get it!” I was stunned. I had never said that, but I obviously had communicated it without words. Having come from a broken home and determined to do things differently, I realized at that moment I had wanted something that was impossible to attain…I had often asked God to compensate for my mistakes, but in return had I thought He would give me perfect children? We were not perfect parents, our children were not perfect, and there is no perfect family!
Although frequently asked over the past 20 years to write a book for the family, I chose to wait until our own children were grown before I’d consider it. Although I had my PhD in child and family ecology, I knew the verdict was not out on whether I was any kind of expert. In fact, the longer I parented, the more I became convinced that I was most definitely not an expert!
But two years ago I started writing Love and Respect in the Family, which comes out next month (Nov 2013). During these two years of writing, I wanted to quit several times as I re-visited my failings as a parent. So why didn't I quit? My three kids told me not to. They said I needed to give myself some grace and get this message of love and respect to parents. But in order for it to be an honest and candid work, I wanted the kids to speak into what I wrote.
I have a feeling that you can relate to my feelings of parenting failure...at least some of the time. But I also want to give you hope in the midst of discouragement!
While there’s no perfect family, I believe God has given us the perfect parenting plan in His Word. I’ll be sharing some of what I learned in the next several weeks.
Be assured my adult children, now in their thirties, have signed off on everything I share – the good, the bad, and the ugly!