My Best Bit of Parenting Advice

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“Holiness is not about getting right and wrong perfected, but it’s about living in the Light, living without anything hidden.” Bill Thrall

I had a friend text me recently and ask if I would be her parenting mentor.

I laughed to myself and texted back, “Sure, but  it might be the blind leading the blind!”

Ever since her text, I’ve been thinking about parenting and what I could offer her, what I’ve learned, and what has been helpful for me as I do my best with my three babes. I’m not great at teaching and training my children, I get impatient and irritated too easily. I don’t spend enough time with them at bedtime, and I’m not as fun as I’d like to be with them. But there is one thing that God has impressed upon me that I try to impress upon them, and it is this:

Be in the Light.

Don’t hide; never hide.

Your ugly is never so ugly that you can’t be loved or forgiven. Also? I’ve got a lot of ugly of my own. You aren’t alone.

You’ve also got a whole lot of beautiful, because you were created in the image of God.

You are loved no matter what. Nothing you could do could change my love for you. On your best day or your worst day, I love you the same.

Nothing you could say or do could make me love you more or less.

You can always talk to me, about anything; approach me with confidence, because I’m on your team.

You are pleasing to me because you are my child.

You will mess up, and you’ll do it a lot, but that’s okay. I mess up a lot, too. We’re in this together; it’s why we need Jesus.

We need Jesus.

You and me both, kid. Because we will never get “it” right in this life. There will be loose ends and trouble and sin swirling all around us, but if we hold onto Jesus, we’ll make it.

And grace.

A million times you will mess up, and a million times I will forgive you. And please forgive me, too, for my million mess-ups.

If we carry on in grace, and stay in the light, we can do this thing called life. And we can do it fairly well.

So there it is, my big parenting advice. It’s really all I’ve got. But I think it’s everything, because it’s how the Father loves us.

“…to all who did receive him [Jesus], to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.”  John 1:12

Love, SM

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  • Mandy Scarr

    Love this, Mae! Thanks for sharing! It’s very timely for me ;) xoxo

  • Sarah

    Beautiful advice!

  • Ashley O

    Thanks, SM! You brought me to tears on this one. it’s so easy to forget whose we are and he is always pleased with just us! Music to this weary mama’s ears!

  • Nate McCloskey

    This is excellent. Honest living, in front of our kids, really hits home with me, coming from a family that was often not transparent. It set an impossible standard, and set the groundwork (not, I’m sure, by design) for a lot of guilt and fear of failure.

    I’m not a mother (obviously), but it is already a struggle to live transparently with my children, to find the balance between leading, teaching, and disciplining, and coming alongside as one who has as much to learn as they do. As one who has made a habit of hiding the ugly for… well, my whole life… this is encouraging and challenging.

  • http://legacyrosecottage.blogspot.com/ Leah

    A Blessed AMEN! The only way we can be free from sin is if we live in the Light. God’s Word tells us to “confess our sins to one another so we may be healed.” We can’t be healed if we are too busy hiding behind the desire of perfection and the fear of being human and fallen.

    I though of you when I wrote my last post: To Be Like an Orange.

    Have a blessed week, Sarah Mae.

  • Tricia Goyer

    I love this quote! “If we carry on in grace, and stay in the light, we can do this thing called life. And we can do it fairly well.” Amen!

  • Kim@onerebelheart

    That? It’s all you need. Thanks for this. It came at a time when I’m struggling with how to apologize to my tweener for making her cry yesterday. Yes, she messed up, but I messed up in yelling at her, and the truth is we both need Jesus because we’re never going to get it right in this life. I’m thinking I may need to print this out and make a poster of it. :-)

  • Kelly

    There’s a reason I sign up for some emails… I don’t get too many, but I like ur style, y? Cuz it’s my style too, and confirmation is nice once in a while. Thank you for taking the time to write this. And you know what, it’s going to be nice hand this over to my 13-year-old son, and ask him if he feels like I have implemented this in our lives! Because we talk like that! I’m looking forward to his feedback and I’ll know if I need to turn up the volume in areas of our lives by his response. I know he reads a lot of Bible w/o me and has taught me a lot :) we learn life.

  • http://www.jacquewatkins.com/ Jacque Watkins

    Pure beauty and truth in your words and my heart is echoing every one of them! xo

  • Coby

    I read this and said, “Shut the front door!” It was EXACTLY what I needed to hear after a challenging and disappointing morning of parenting. Thanks for sharing these words – the Lord really used them to encourage me!

  • http://www.sonyamacdesigns.com/ Sonya McCllough

    DC TALK – IN THE LIGHT

  • Erin

    I rolled my eyes when I saw the title for this. Oh, great, more parenting advice to tell me yet more ways I’m not the getting this right. Thankfully, it wasn’t like that at all. I loved this, and I thank you for sharing.

  • http://www.blessingsoverflowing.com/ Jackie

    Love this! Thank you so much.

  • Melanie @carmelmoments.com

    Thanks for speaking truth. So many times I don’t feel like I measure up when it comes to parenting. It’s then I have to take a step back and be grateful for the things I’m doing right.

  • Toniko

    Very nice thank you! I could see a children’s book written out of some or all of these phrases!

  • Char

    Horray! I think its so important to realize we are all figuring it out. And we all struggle in the same areas as our children – just at different levels. God bless you, you are an amazing mom!
    http://www.withallmylovemom.wordpress.com

  • vinma

    Loved all the advice- specially the one about ‘making mess together’ So True :)