It just swept over my mind how often we beat ourselves up over our “failures”.

Our family in 1992

Our family in 1992

Now, sin is sin and we all miss God’s target on that score (Romans 3:23). But is every failure a sin? Who says what happens fails or succeeds?

If enough ink and paper exists in this world my family could list every failure of ours as parents. Or I think of how often my beloved wife resurrects failures in parenting that we lived through. And I think, “Wait a minute!”

I know well a family that had one son. They chose a very lenient parenting style and, of course, the crowd around had a lot to say about how they failed as parents. It sure looked and felt like it when watching that little fellow “get away” with so much. But fast forward twenty years. That young man lived with integrity. He was polite and kind. He fussed over his parents with a love that felt truly tangible. Anyone would have readily accepted him as son.

So did his parents fail? A resounding “No” echoes from heaven itself. They modelled love, patience, kindness, tenderness. They provided emotional and spiritual security. In their case this proved far more effective than forcing their son to follow strict regulations on social behaviour.

My beloved wife and I often think we acted too strictly with our daughters. Yet all three remain emotionally close to us, and want us to visit! They have honourable vocations: keeping children safe in the community, nursing and serving in war zones with the military. And the two who chose to have children use very different parenting principles. We keep our mouths shut because only God knows what the best thing is for our grandchildren.

And that’s exactly what came to me this morning, the Compassion Principle.

We believe only God can save a soul. We believe God heals and performs miracles. We know God guides our lives into the divine mission we each have.

BUT!! we believe we have the sole responsibility to turn out good kids!!

Calliope Hummingbird / Stellula calliope - fem...

Calliope Hummingbird / Stellula calliope – female feeding two chicks (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

God takes our love and transforms our lapses into learning. God sets a standard for parenting that does NOT come from a secular norm.

God parents our children!

Thank God! Even though I look back and see we did a lot of things we consider good parenting, we actually prayed to God to look after our family.

And God did! What a surprise! I think we thought that was a prayer God wouldn’t answer, but instead leave us dangling to muddle through and hope to get lucky in parenting.

We loved, and love, our daughters. We did the best we could with what we knew, what we were and with what we had at the time.

And God did the rest. We got “lucky”.

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