Humility in Parenting
“Mommy, I didn’t like it when you yelled. It hurt my feelings.” Her big brown eyes were filled with tears and her little lip quivered. I kneeled and sighed. It was a deep, sad, humility-filled, I’m-so-sorry kind of sigh.
I looked at her little face and smiled inside as she blinked a little too hard so the tears would drop with proper drama. And I listened. I already knew the still, small voice would come. The one that says “apologize well.” Ok, Lord.
“But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, ‘God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.'” James 4:6
“We need to talk about what happened. It’s not ok to disobey mama. I’ll discuss it with Dad first and then we’ll chat after dinner, ok?” I pause and put my hands on her arms. “But sweetheart, that did not make it ok for me to yell, and I’m really, very sorry. It was a sin for me to act out in anger that way and I don’t want that between us. Will you please forgive me?”
She does. And we pray. We pray confession and repentance, forgiveness and restoration, and strength to turn away from temptation and turn toward Christ.
There are few things as humbling as parenting. Isn’t that true? If I ever reach a moment where I think I’m doing pretty well in godly living and following His ways, parenting will snap me back to reality. In truth, I still have a long way to go! I imagine the same is true for you as well.
I often say that marriage and parenting are like a crucible that is used to purify us. Or like a press that is used to form us. In all the challenges of parenting we are pressed hard. It’s alarming sometimes when we see what impurities and sins rise to the surface. Sometimes it’s downright embarrassing and shameful.
Oh, but what a precious crucible. What a blessed formation! To be pressed and molded by the loving hand of God as He sanctifies us through our parenting.
It’s true, parenting will humble us like little else. We will sin. We will blow it. But thanks be to God for his continual mercies and faithfulness! He replaces shame with hope, brokenness with sweet dependence on Him. The beauty of a humble heart in parenting is more precious than we can imagine. In those moments when we apologize well, we approach the throne of Grace with our children. With humility. We point ourselves and them to Christ, the perfect example of humility. What an amazing gift!
Lord, thank you for teaching us humility. Help us to live it out in our daily parenting so that our homes may overflow with your mercy and grace. In Jesus’ name, Amen.