Parents Are Human Too (Newsletter 3-10)

Parents Are Human Too by David Short

Parents Are Human Too Mother’s Day and Father’s Day – two of the hardest Sundays of the year to find something new and fresh to say about parents. Searching my mind (and past sermon notes) it suddenly dawned on me that the best person to speak on Mother’s Day was a mother. Inspired, I asked Sister Barbara Westberg to prepare a message for our church. Her unique and anointed approach led mothers to reflect on their successes rather than their failures. I believe her message applies to both parent genders.

Beginning with Eve and continuing to Noah’s wife, and further to Sarah and Rebekah, mothers for generations have failed to be perfect. Eve literally ate her family out of house and home. She obviously had regrets. Sometimes we complain about the chaos and noise our children bring in our house, but Noah’s wife really lived in a zoo! Certainly she had doubts and questions. Sarah joined Abraham in practicing deceit and we still reap the reward of their failures (but, we also share in his blessings from God). Rebekah continued in their footsteps, causing family division for years. Finally, Job’s wife suffered the same loss as he, yet she is viewed with criticism and disdain for not being supportive. It is easy to focus on what these parents did wrong, but what did they do right? They loved their children, just as we love ours. They wanted the best for their children, just as we want for ours. They provided for and pushed their children to succeed in life, just as we do for ours. In fact, they were human, just as we are. Often we make mistakes with our children; ignoring that tiny, questioning voice with an “I’m too busy” or reacting with unfair consequences. In retrospect we wish our unkind words could be erased.

Unfortunately, those words spoken in haste cannot be retrieved. Children, however, do not judge us as harshly as we judge ourselves. How do we know this? Just take a look at the handwritten notes, cards, and pictures. “To the World’s Best Mom,” “My Dad’s Number One.” Ask a grown child to name one thing their parents did right. They will have a hard time choosing just one. Yet ask parents to name one thing they did right, and they cannot seem to get past the wrongs they remember. Parents, we need to give ourselves some mercy. We are human, flesh and bone, prone to failure. But we have an eternal, perfect, Holy Father whose Spirit dwells within us. The psalmist said He knows our frame, He remembers we are dust. He has plenty of mercy and forgives our iniquities. If He can forgive us, we need to forgive ourselves and let Him redeem our lives and crown us with loving- kindness and tender mercies (Psalm 103).

Oklahoma District Beacon, David Short, Editor