Hey, parents, we’re not perfect, but it’s never too late to do better
We were still sitting at the Sunday dinner table, hosting a missionary couple who had shared in worship that morning. Three of my kids filled them in on upcoming plans and adventures. One daughter was about to leave for Africa, and these folks had previously served in Africa. Another was sharing about her pursuit of her school counseling certification and her internship in an elementary school. My son was filling them in on his upcoming wedding.
Our guest said something like, “You all are so fortunate to have such supportive parents. To be able to go to Rwanda for a year and have your parents support ... not everyone would give their blessing. David and Amy have done a great job raising you and preparing you to do what you want to do.”
I was humbled by that statement, but also couldn’t help but think of how I could have been a better dad when these kids were coming along. I thought about the times that I rushed our bedtime routine simply because I was exhausted and wanted some time to chill before I crashed. Or the numerous times that I came home from rough meetings at church and was so preoccupied with church stuff that I was present in body only. Or the times that I lost patience ...
Parenting is such a challenge, yet such a privilege. As Stormie Omartian wrote in The Power of a Praying Parent, “It’s the best of jobs. It’s the most difficult of jobs. It can bring you the greatest joy. It can cause you the greatest pain. There is nothing as fulfilling and exhilarating. There’s nothing so depleting and exhausting. No area of your life can make you feel more like a success when everything is going well. No area of your life can make you feel more like a failure when things go wrong.”
I’m not a perfect parent, yet there is no perfect parent.
Roger Palmer of Crossings Ministries said, “When you look at our imperfections, parents blame themselves too much when kids fail and take too much credit when kids succeed. Success in parenting starts with seeing our true role as a parent and the call of God on our lives to be a parent.”
Palmer will lead the “You’re Not Alone” conference for parents of preschoolers, children and youth, and grandparents raising grandchildren this Saturday, Aug. 18, at McDonough Road Baptist Church in Fayetteville.
“Most parents are asking the wrong question: ‘How do I make sure my child turns out right?’” Palmer said.
“The right question is: ‘How do I help lead my kids to fall in love with Jesus?’”
The conference is set for 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. at the church located at 352 McDonough Road, just past the department of drivers’ services building. Cost is $5, which covers lunch, and childcare is available by reservation.
Palmer will cover two sessions, “Facing Our Imperfections” and “Focusing Our Influence.”
“Parents have more influence than they think they have,” he said. “Many have passed on their parental authority and role to teachers, or even to the church. We have to reclaim our authority and learn how to fulfill our God-given responsibility.”
Palmer served as a youth pastor for 22 years before joining Reach Out Youth Solutions and traveling the country speaking and leading conferences. He recently transitioned to Crossings Ministries.
“Roger’s experience in ministry, his contagious personality and his passion for Jesus make him a powerful leader and speaker,” said Joni Owens, minister of children and preschool at McDonough Road. “Parents will enjoy a time of learning, encouragement and fellowship.
“We want to come beside parents and help equip them to build Christ-centered families. We’re here to help strengthen families. We want our parents in our community to know that you’re not alone.
“One thing I want to emphasize to parents who may be considering attending this conference is, it’s not too late to start becoming a better, more intentional parent. No matter where your kids are in whatever stage of life, it’s not too late,” said Owens.
What is the bottom line take-away from attending this conference this Saturday?
“We’re all learning. We’re all in this together. You’re not alone. We need to be open about our weaknesses and get all the equipping we can so we can help our kids fall in love with Jesus,” Palmer said.
Call 770-460-5423 for more information.
Dr. David L. Chancey is pastor at McDonough Road Baptist Church in Fayetteville, Georgia. Join them this Sunday for Bible study at 9:45 a.m. and worship at 10:55 a.m. Visit them on the web at www.mcdonoughroad.org.