Imperfect Parenting

Nick Nieblas

"Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.  'Honor your father and mother' - which is the first commandment with a promise - 'so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.'  Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord."  Ephesians 6:1-4

On October 7, 2011, I had a life-changing experience.  I had a son, Emery Matthew Nieblas.  He was born around 10:30 p.m. via c-section, weighing in at 7 pounds 5.8 ounces and was 19" long.

I have two daughters, Lael and Mira, who are very special in individual ways; I love them both very deeply.  However, I just had a son.  My son.

I have been praying to God, asking for a boy ever since we first became pregnant a little less than 4 years ago.  Twice, God decided that I needed a girl.  But now, in His vast knowledge and grace, He has given me a son.  This has made me think hard about several things, mostly though, about what kind of man God wants me to teach my son to be.

What is the most effective way to teach another person?  Or better yet, what is the most effective way to teach a child?  Experience dictates that "monkey see, monkey do".  If you are a parent, you understand this very, very well.  A slip of the tongue opens a door for a conversation that you may not want to have with your 4 year old.  An inappropriate action may ruin the "super hero" image that you have in your children's eyes.

Yet, I believe that God does not call us to perfection, for our children's sake or otherwise.  God calls us to express His character through our lives, our actions, and our parenting.  Grace, love, mercy, and joy should not only be expressed to those who can understand it, they should be expressed to those who need it; and everybody needs it, including our children.

As parents, we cannot control our children (although we might like to), but we can accurately represent who Jesus is by being Jesus to them in love, faith, and having a holy reverence for God.  It may even be good to let your children see you struggle and wrestle with God, because if God can love you and me, He can most certainly loves our kids.

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