No Perfect Parent

A well-known myth of parenting is that parenting creates the child: “As the twig is bent, so grows the branch.” Unfortunately, as most parents would admit, this isn’t true. No matter how great a parent you are, how many books you read on the subject of parenting, how many conferences you attend, and how much you pour into your child’s life, there is no recipe for perfect parenting. There are amazing, godly couples who have a child in prison. Pastors have children who are lukewarm toward God or outright agnostic. Did they do something wrong in how they parented? 

Rather than striving to be a “perfect” parent, how about striving to be a godly parent—and leave the outcome to the One who made your tween/teen. 

There will always be people whose tweens/teens are more obedient, more compliant, more joyful, and more “perfect” than ours. Our job is to be faithful to the task we have been given: to raise the tween or teen under our roof as well as we can, and trust God with the outcome. There is only so much influence a parent can have; we are not sovereign over our tweens/teens—only God is. 

In her article “The Myth of the Perfect Parent” Leslie Leyland Fields wrote, “It is faith rather than formula, grace rather than guarantees, steadfastness rather than success that bridges the gap between our own parenting efforts, and what, by God’s grace, our children grow up to become.” 

My encouragement is that you will embrace this idea as you press on in your parenting. God does not require you to be flawless . . . only faithful.