Some days just feel like failures. Like, I should have gone back to bed and slept the day away, and woken up to a better tomorrow, kind of failure. Do you ever feel that way? Your child, in the midst of just being a child, frustrated you so much that you “lost it". For me, losing it can look like yelling or having to pull away and get a moment alone before I go insane, leaving a crying little girl on the floor begging for her mommy. How can those moments, especially if there a lot of those moments in a day, not feel like a failure? I believe it is all in what we do next. Days like this, failure days, can be the best teaching tool.
Let’s think about our lives. How often do we experience situations that go awry in life? How often do we sit down, with tears streaming down our faces, acknowledging that we totally missed God in a situation, and feel like we have failed? How did we learn to deal with these moments, these feelings? I know that, at times, I am still learning how to deal with these kinds of moments. I've had to learn, though the school of hard knocks, that stopping and going to God immediately with my disappointment, failure, issue, and talking with Him, asking forgiveness if necessary, and receiving the peace that makes no sense in the middle of this issue, is the only way to handle things. Instead of putting on boxing gloves, I should be hitting my knees in prayer. Instead of picking up the phone to call a friend, or going to Facebook about my issue, I should be picking up the Bible to seek the advice and comfort I am craving. I don’t want my daughter to have to learn how to deal with heartache and bad days by going to all the wrong places first. I want, in the middle of my personal breakdown, to take her alongside me and show her how to go to the foot of the cross. I want her to hear me asking for forgiveness for a wrong attitude, or words that I said, first from Jesus, and then turn to her and ask her forgiveness, too. I want her to learn about GRACE now, not when she is a teenager or young adult. There is no greater tool we can give our children than showing them how to walk through failure and seasons of difficulty. The Bible promises us that as followers of Christ, in this world we will have trouble, but to take heart because Christ has overcome the world (John 16:33). To give our children the expectation that as long as we have Jesus, every aspect of life will be puppy dogs and rainbows, will only set them up for disillusionment later in life. We live in a fallen world, but Christ is our strength in this dark place. Instead, let’s teach our children that in our moments of weakness, He is glorified and strong (2 Cor 12:9). Let’s teach them that instead of following what the world says is important, we seek Him and His righteousness (Matt 6:33). Let’s show them that the best place for us to be is on our knees, whether in good situations or in bad, so they will know how to deal with the difficulties of their lives (Prov 22:6).
Do not be hard on yourself if you have an hour, or even a week, that feels like it is a failure. Only Christ is perfect, and He, knowing the places where you and I would fail, gave us the beautiful people in our lives for a purpose. So, when you feel like you have lost the Mother of the Year award for good, stop and realize that it is in those moments that we teach the truth of how to live for Christ in all circumstances. Our children will be better prepared for life watching us walk through the valleys, than if they only saw us praising on the mountaintops.