This year, I’ve been thinking about my future kids more often.
Ruvim and I have talked about it often since our last anniversary and we know we’re getting close to “that time.” It used to be a scary thing (which is a testimony for another time) but since it’s been in our conversations more frequently, it’s also been in my thoughts.
This one particular time, I felt overwhelmed because I realized I couldn’t be a perfect parent. Understanding this was very humbling and revealing of my heart, but simultaneously, I got a sense of relief that I didn’t have to be. Just like I’ve heard other parents say, you try your best, but at the end of the day, you leave the rest to Jesus.
In the areas where I’ll come up short, I can leave that to Jesus and when I need I could ask Him for wisdom, too. And it hit me hard as I thought about my own parents and their parents, and their parents, and so on.
Each of us has a particular view of our own parents. We are grateful for certain ways they brought us up, but we also don’t glide over the areas they came up short, especially the older you get. But what’s interesting is that we can’t hold that against them.
Just like (I would imagine) you wouldn’t want your children to hold things against you, so we shouldn’t hold things against our parents. We need to realize that Jesus must be the filler of what we are deficient in if our parents came up short and when our kids mess up.
As a parent, you need to give yourself grace and trust the Lord to complete what you can’t. And as a child, you need to give yourself the grace and trust the Lord to complete what your parents couldn’t. Parents cannot fill the void in a child’s heart where only God can, and vice versa, children cannot expect to get complete fulfillment from their parents where only God can.
God is the only one who can complete, satisfy, and fill the voids in our hearts. No matter how hard our parents, we as parents, our kids or as kids we try.
The biggest Dad-Deficit is with our own heavenly Father. Not that He isn’t present, but because we aren’t.
We often blame each other and our forefathers for the way things are, the way we are, and how our lives turned out. But we’ll only see what’s missing if we focus on the emptiness. God is always present, near, and ready to help. We just get caught up with other things.
We follow the blame-game of our forefathers and blame each other and ourselves for our voids, problems, and life-circumstances, when instead, we could turn to a heavenly Father who knows the number of hairs on our heads, and who loves us entirely and completely even when we mess up.
I hope I get this right when I say, as parents, we need to understand that we will fall short but still try our best. God gave us the Word to help us discipline and raise children. He gave us the best nanny, a Helper, the Holy Spirit (said tongue-in-cheek), to guide us in our daily decisions, behaviors, and lead us to the truth. And He gives us measures of faith to walk by, instead of our sight.
The point is to not get caught up and influenced by the world and even self. We must let God complete the areas we come up short in, but also where our kids come up short in. Because even though they seem perfect and innocent, they are their own individuals on a path before the Lord, and will have to decide for themselves to continue following Him or not.
As a kid, I know I got this right when I say; I done messed up obeying my parents! I know I wasn’t a perfect kid, and I definitely didn’t always try my best, but not only that, I feel like can pinpoint what I missed from my parents. I fall short and I also see where they fell short, and even then, that’s still my judgment and perspective.
Just as the Lord extends His Word and the Holy Spirit to parents (and future parents, like me), He does the same to us as kids. There is no junior Holy Spirit or Word. Even though we grow up and become adults, we remain kids because we came from somewhere. And with this, God doesn’t withhold His truth, wisdom, and love for us any less. What our parents couldn’t fill or give to us, He will. Where our parents missed the mark and messed up, He sorts it out. We must let God fill the void in the areas you wanted your parents to.
The reason we fall into these traps is that the world teaches, influences, and invites us to conform to its ways. It provides ways to cope and appeals to the desires of our eyes, flesh, and pride (1 John 2:15-17). It constantly reminds us we’re not enough and we don’t have enough, as parents and as kids. The world and the enemy try to convince us that their ways are better and that we need to be better, but we must stand firm in our faith with the help of the Holy Spirit and God’s Word.
As a future parent, current kid, and regular human being, I realize repeatedly that there’s nothing I can do to make God love me more or less. It has nothing to do with me doing anything. God created you and me fearfully and wonderfully, and just like He called His creation “good” at the beginning of time, He called us good, too.
Not “good enough.”
Not “getting better.”
Not “somewhat good.”
But “GOOD,” and that’s final.
Conclusion: God’s perspective
God completes us. Nobody else on this earth can. Not our spouse, not our parents, not our kids, friends, colleagues, bosses, not anyone. He is the filler of all, completing each of us individually. He alone fills our cups, shines His light on and through us, and completely satisfies us.
His grace is sufficient. He makes His strength perfect in our weaknesses. His love completes us.
We will never feel good enough when we’re living like we’re Dad-Deficit. Like the saying goes, it’s not just who you are, but WHOSE you are. We must remind ourselves and each other of this truth, that we belong to a Heavenly Father; that He is a Fulfilling-Father, and we can live in our new God-given identities. We are His children and we are enough, because Christ paid the price in FULL.
We have a heavenly Father who loves us, is proud of us, and fills us up when we’re running on empty.
It’s been one of my favorite reminders lately, and I hope it blesses you, too.
But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name.1 John 1:12
Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father, but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.1 John 2:15-17
I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.Galatians 2:20