By Pam Gibbs
I yelled at my daughter yesterday.
I raised my voice and spoke in anger.
I lost my temper over socks. Yes, socks. It’s a long story. And afterwards, I felt like the worst parent in the world.
I was embarrassed by my actions. It was one of those moments that you wish you could do over. Hit the rewind button and try again. Delete the file and start over from scratch.
Why am I telling you this? Partly because I want you to know I am human and flawed. Partly because I think as parents, we spend too much time trying to conceal our mistakes instead of being honest about them, and in doing so, put up a fake self that is exhausting to maintain.
But mostly, because I think you’ve been there, too.
Maybe the argument wasn’t over socks. It could have been about a boyfriend, a car, or the toxic zone of a bedroom. But you lost your temper and yelled. Like me, you lost perspective and let your words fly in anger and frustration.
And like me, you felt like the worst parent in the world.
For both of us, I have good news. It’s called mercy. Lamentations 3:22-23 says this:
“Because of the Lord’s faithful love,
we do not perish,
for His mercies never end.
They are new every morning;
great is Your faithfulness.”
Mercy. Not just any kind of mercy, but never-ending mercy. Mercy that is new and fresh and ready to forgive and forget every morning.
So today is a new day. I get another chance to turn in my merit badge of bad parenting for another opportunity to love well. And tomorrow? I get a fresh start then, too.
That’s the glory of God and the wonder of mercy. And I am grateful for it.
PAM GIBBS is a working mom who juggles life as an editor and being a mom of a precocious six-year old (who’s going on 16). She lives in Tennessee with her husband, Jim. When she’s able to sneak away, you’ll find her curled up with a good book and some dark chocolate.