I don’t know about you, but I do guilt very well. At times, it seems like I can feel guilty for almost anything. Also, as a parent I mess up routinely. I can be short with my temper and my words are not always pleasant. Also, there seems to be a new parenting article out daily that tells you how to parent and of course it feels like to me anyway that I always come up short. My hunch is I am not the only one that feels that way. So, how do I have the audacity to come up with an article entitled, “Guilt Free Parenting”? Actually, it wasn’t totally my idea. God placed the idea and burden on my heart to share it with you.
Let’s look at Psalm 139:16, “Thine eyes have seen my unformed substance; And in Thy book they were all written, the days that were ordained for me, when as yet there was not one of them.” Basically, before you were born God marked out your days and may I add also your children’s days. God has a plan for you and He has one for your children as well.
What does all of this have to do with guilt free parenting? I’m glad you asked. God is truly in control of your life and your children’s lives as well. We cannot always see His hand or plan, but He is there. That means on our worst parenting days God is still working His plan in our lives and in our children’s lives in spite of us. There have been so many times in the Bible where at first glance God’s plan did not make sense and then on later inspection it made perfect sense. So, when we are not doing a good job of being parents, God is still working in our lives and our children’s lives.
I want to quickly say this does not give us permission to say, “I don’t have to parent, God is in control.” I’m not saying that at all. What I am saying is quit beating yourself up when you feel you have not done a good job or had a less than stellar parenting moment. God does not expect us to be perfect parents or have perfect children. If He expected that or required that we would not need Jesus.
May I suggest when you have that guilty feeling or bad parenting moment run to God and readmit how much you need Him. Also, rest in Him and thank Him that He is still in control and His plan will happen. Sometimes I even say, “God these are your children too and I know you love them even more than I do, please help me. Give me strength to be the parent you would have me be.”
Guilt Free Parenting means relying on our Abba Father and trusting Him to guide us in parenting our children. It means we won’t be perfect, but we can rest assured that God is still working out His plan in all of our lives. To me Guilt Free Parenting means realizing how deeply I need God and His wisdom in every area of my life and how I need to run to Him daily for strength and encouragement.
Can I promise you that if you truly realize how God is in control of your life and your children’s life that you won’t feel guilty? I wish I could. I have to admit I still feel guilty from time to time. I’m learning and resting in my Abba Father who loves and cares for me and who has a perfect plan for my life and for my children as well. I’m so thankful I’m not parenting alone, but with someone who is the Perfect Parent. So, are you willing to try Guilt Free Parenting for a change? I think you will like living without guilt.
© 2005 Kimberly Chastain
About the Author: Kimberly Chastain, MS, LMFT is the Christian Working Mom Coach and a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. She was recently featured in the book the Myth of the Perfect Mother. She is the author of “Help My Preteen/Teenager is Driving Me Nuts!!!” To purchase a copy of this e-book please visit www.kimberlychastain.com/parenting. To schedule a free, initial coaching session send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.christianworkingmom.com.