Monday, November 21, 2011

The Parent I Want to Be...

Romans 7:19-25

For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.
21 So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? 25 Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!

I have been struggling lately with a parental identity crisis.  Don't get me wrong, it is my daily desire to be the patient "soccer" mom who reads books each night, who pays 100% attention to their child and one who is not rattled when their child makes a complete mess time and time again.  Each day I wake up praying to be a better, more patient and loving parent, and each night I go to bed praying that tomorrow will be better.  Guilt and an overwhelming sense of failure have been my parental identity as of late (and she's only 16 months old!). 

This verse from Romans has been running through my head, except, with permission from the Apostle Paul, I would substitute the words for verse 19 to read something like this, "For I am not the parent I want to be, but the parent I don't want to be - this I keep being."  I detest myself when my frustration, exhaustion and irritation leave my daughter upset or even in tears, and I hate it when I let my anger get the best of me.

Thankfully, the verse goes on to explain that the good we want to do, we can't because of our sin. It is only through Jesus that we are delivered.  Therefore, the parent I want to be, I can't be on my own.  My sin gets me every time.  Since, however I have been brought to faith through the waters of baptism, and have been given the promise of eternal life through Jesus' death and resurrection, there is daily forgiveness and the hope of tomorrow.  Thank goodness - for both Olivia's sake and mine!

Dear Jesus,
Help me to be the parent you want me to be.  Thank you for your daily forgiveness and promises of tomorrow.  Strengthen and preserve us your dear children and keep us close to you.  Amen

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