Perfectionist Parent or Perfect Parent

I am thankfully not plagued with the desire for perfection. This is why I would not make a engineer or neurosurgeon. I will frequently start a project and about three quarters of the way through dust off my hands and say, "That's good enough." I have family members, however, who strive for perfection. It makes them very good at what they do and they are admired for it but it also seems to haunt them.

While all that God is and does is perfect, sometimes our relationship is marred because we view Him as the perfectionist parent. As if He is looking over our shoulder throughout the day saying, "Tsk tsk, if only she hadn't said that." Or that He looks upon our accomplishments and says, "Well it would have been better if you had just...". What a massive stumbling block in the relationship between a child and parent when the child views their parent as one who could never be pleased. The child then views themself as having no worth or value. The child chooses not to engage.

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Instead of viewing God as the perfectionist parent, it might be comforting to know that He is the perfect parent. The parent who from the beginning of time sought to make a way for all to be His children. A parent who has consistently provided for, forgiven and offered access to Himself. God is a parent who never wants to be separated from His kids. How many of us parents can't wait for bedtime or summer camp to get a break? He doesn't want a break!

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The perfect parent also doesn't force themselves upon their kids. A parent who demands that His child say, "I love you, Daddy" isn't really engaged in a genuine, loving relationship. The perfect parent gives his or her children the choice to love. Instead of demanding attention and adoration, God waits patiently for His kids to move toward Him slowly and He allows them to see where He is working. This love is not harsh or threatening, it's respectful, kind and understanding.

At times, I can slip into thinking God is the perfectionist parent. But that is a notion of my own creation. I have to catch myself when I hear the "Tsk, tsk", because that is not from the Lord. Yes, He will correct us when needed but when our hearts are turned towards Him, He lovingly guides us. Sometimes I let the idea of the perfectionist parent guide my own parenting and it hinders my relationship with my own children.

God made a way for everyone to sit at His feet. When completely surrendered and with acknowledgement and acceptance of His son as our covering, we have access to the gentle, loving and almighty power of a father who wants nothing more than to love His children. And in the meantime, while we wander He waits willingly. He watches like a dad who watches over his little one toddling through the yard. Sometimes guiding his child away from hazards, sometimes allowing consquences so his son or daughter can learn and grow and realize the need for a parent's guidance.

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Today, I am thankful that my perfect parent is not far from me or the ones I love. I pray for those who do not know Him, who need the love of a father and who seek acceptance and kindness.

Acts 17:26-27
And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us...

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