Do You Have To Be Perfect To Be A Parent?

After the birth of a child, one of the most frequent prayers has to be "God, don't let me screw this up!" Being a parent carries with it innumerable anxieties. From physical health to spiritual health, there are so many areas of life that we have not yet mastered. How then can we be models for our children? There quickly creeps in the temptation to think that we have to be perfect to be parents. 

Well, that's not a very biblical perspective. From the Old Testament to the New Testament, parenting is not for the perfect, but the persevering. Paul is a great example. This murderer of Christians becomes a father in the faith (1 Corinthians 4:15). Though imperfect and flawed, he is entrusted with bringing souls to God, and he perseveres to the end (2 Timothy 4:7). It's the Gospel and his perseverance that makes him great, not any extraordinary personality of his own. 

From a biblical perspective, parenting is not about being perfect. God offers perfect peace for imperfect parents. He knows we feel insufficiently equipped. The feeling of not being able to take the next step securely signals us to reach for His hand. 

Being a good Christian parent does not mean to be pristine in love. It means to persevere in pointing to the perfect Love. That's all that Paul did. Paul encouraged the people of Corinth to imitate him because he sought to imitate Christ. As parents, we are meant to be an example to our children, but not an example of unachievable perfection.

Our children need to see us pursuing Christ, to see the power of Christ in our weaknesses. We point them toward the One who is perfect for us as we follow His lead and rely on His Spirit. With parents like that, our children learn that no matter how imperfect the world or their parents, they are forever held in Love (Romans 8: 38-39).

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