Stop Worrying about Parental Errors

Use the 3 Words that Make All the Difference

Like so many other hard-working mamas nowadays, Family Life Radio artist Rebecca St. James is homeschooling her children. She says she struggled immensely when she saw one of her daughters falling behind in her reading comprehension skills. At the time, she had a newborn, was working on a new album and the second season of her new podcast. She immediately decided the problem must be that she was too distracted to devote the necessary time to her daughter’s studies.

“Are they going to be in a counseling chair years from now, talking about me and how I did as a parent?” Rebecca half-jokingly asked about her children. “Oh, Lord, prevent that!”

If you’re a mother or father, you know how easy it can be to lay your head on the pillow each night and take inventory of the day’s parental errors. 

  • You didn’t give them an adequate breakfast …
  • You forgot to hug them before they got on the school bus …
  • You failed to say “I love you” enough times …
  • You spoke too harshly to them at the dinner table when they didn’t eat their broccoli …
  • You noticed the low mark on one paper but not the three high marks on the report card, and so on.

“We’re not going to get it right all the time,” Rebecca admits.

Nobody does. We’re human. We’re flawed. We’re going to mess up, no matter how hard we tried. But Rebecca and her husband learned the power of three words early on in their marriage and applied it in parenthood too. It made all the difference in the world:

“I am sorry.”

Humility arrives in saying that you didn’t quite get it right this time, and you’ll try to do better next time. You can find something amazing in the acknowledgement that you had a bad moment you aren’t so proud of, and you’re a big enough person to humble yourself and ask for atonement. We all need it. If we dare to be bold enough to ask it of God, how could we not also ask it of our children?

In that moment, you’ll feel that heaviness lift when those little arms wrap around your neck, two sweet, wet little lips press to your cheek, and all is right in their world and yours again.

Romans 14:19 says, “So then, let us pursue what promotes peace and what builds up one another” (CSB).

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