As a father, I often find myself trying to either be the perfect father or beating myself up over not being the perfect father.
The truth is that only God is a perfect father, and so I think it’s fitting that as I woke up the other day, there was a song in my head about God which made me say, “Hmm. That’s not a bad way to parent.”
The lyrics are from the song “The Lord is gracious and compassionate”:
“The Lord is gracious and compassionate
Slow to anger and rich in love
The Lord is gracious and compassionate
Slow to anger and rich in love
And the Lord is good to all
He has compassion in all that he has made
As far as the east is from the west
That’s how far he has removed our transgressions from us”
1) We should be compassionate with our kids
Many of us are familiar with the dad who tries to get a re-do with his adolescent sports dream. This father pushes their kid, yells at their kid, and makes their kid the focus of every conversation about the given spot.
I must confess that sometimes I want an entire re-do: sports, school grade, etc through my kids. When I do this, I get caught up between the gap of my desired perfection and the very good and normal life that my kids are living.
And I lose compassion.
Because I’m interested in their
well being erh uhh perfection.
So my goal is to be compassionate. To look at the cookie crumbs on the couch in the morning as an opportunity to say, “Hey let’s clean this up so it looks good for Mom” rather than “What were you thinking eating cookies at midnight?”
2) We should be slow to anger
The three people we talk worst two in life are ourselves, our spouse, and our children.
Why is that? Where does the anger come from?
It comes from fear.
Our anger with our kid comes from fear. They won’t turn out right if they don’t learn to plan ahead, learn to eat right, learn to study perfectly.
That is not to say that we don’t teach, but teaching from a place of anger neither accomplishes learning nor is about our kids. It’s about fear.
So before those angry words escape, stop and think of a better base from which to parent.
3) We should be good to our kids
By being good to our kids, I’m not saying buy them all donuts and Pepsi although there is a time for that as well. In fact, being good to our kids might be saying no to donuts and Pepsi.
But I think “being good to all” also means taking time to listen to their needs and wants and finding the good in them. One of my favorite topics is “catching people doing good.”
What is the best five things about your kid?
The next time people ask about your kid try to talk about some of those and not about the lamp they set on fire or the giant bottle of Gatorade that they spilled on your carpet.
4) We need to forget our kids transgressions
Again, why is it with ourselves, our spouses, and our kids do we still hold on to what they did six years ago?
Just because your kid skipped some baseball practices three years ago doesn’t mean you need to use that as an example today about not skipping play practice.
Do what God does and forget their transgressions. Remove them from your mind.
What other songs about God remind you how to parent?