For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified. Hebrew 10:14
Do you know that how you see yourself as a parent can either hinder or help you parent? When my husband has had to go out of town on business, I’ve battled a sense of dread the whole week prior. I dreaded being drained because I wouldn’t have help with all the responsibilities associated with two children in grade school, a busy toddler, and a household. More than that, I dreaded any issue highlighting parental inadequacies that tripped me up repeatedly in the past.
I knew that mindset would be disastrous so I meditated on scriptures regarding my supply in Christ. Wouldn’t you know it, the very first day I had a familiar and unpleasant experience with one of my sons during homework. I tried everything the Holy Spirit told me to do previous times, but they didn’t work. My son’s attitude continued to spiral down. I had dinner to finish, my two-year old was whining and it seemed God was intent on keeping silent! Not only did I mishandle the situation, there was a residue on most of that week that left me feeling horribly inadequate as a parent.
Why didn’t meditating on the finished work of Christ and His abundant supply to meet my every need help me overcome? Bottom line: sin-consciousness hindered my faith by distracting me with all I lacked as a parent and my past mistakes. I was so much more cognizant of where I fall short as a parent than of Christ’s desire and ability to give me what I lacked (His grace) that hopelessness completely surrounded and immobilized me. Hope is a necessary precursor of faith so I continued to feed on messages on the gospel of grace: that I am forgiven of all my shortcomings, including as a parent, because the Father punished every one of them in Christ at the cross. That was a good start, but I needed to forgive myself as well because I held my own sins over my head. To help me, the Holy Spirit showed me that laying aside my guilty conscience precedes looking to Jesus in whom I am blameless, righteous and have abundant supply.
Faith begins when we look to Jesus and comes full circle when we direct it toward Him and His finished work. Focusing on our mistakes and shortcomings is self-imposed bondage that shrinks our faith and keeps us from drawing near to God. In Christ we are forgiven of every way we fall short of God’s glory and through Him we are perfect in God’s eyes. The next time you blow it and feel the weight of guilt and discouragement, meditate on scriptures about the eternal forgiveness you have in Christ, forgive yourself, and your faith will flow to receive God’s grace for any situation you face in life, including parenting!
SOUL FOOD (Scripture References)
Hebrews 12:1, 2
Ephesians 1:4, NIV
2 Corinthians 5:21
2 Corinthians 9:8
Romans 4:7; Ephesians 4:32; Hebrews 10:12, 17
© Vanessa A. Harris and The Legacy of Faith, 2012.