Becoming a Better Parent – Part 1
“So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!”2 Corinthians 5:17
Because Sunday is Father’s Day, I want us this week to consider some features of good parenting. When it comes to father, dads just don’t get the respect they once received. There’s an old story about a ten-year-old boy who answered the doorbell at his home one day. When he opened the door, there stood a strange man on the porch. The man said, “Son, you don’t know me, do you?” The young man said, no, he did not. The man replied, “Well, I’m your uncle on your father’s side.” To which the young fellow replied, “Well, I’m glad to meet you, but you’re certainly on the losing side.”
The old days when fathers automatically got respect are long over. Today, in the family, as well as in the workplace, respect must be earned. Over the last couple of decades, fathers have been missing in many homes. While this trend has been reversing in recent years, there are still too many absent fathers. The number of young women having to raise children in a single parent household is still startling. Of course, it’s not always the mother who is raising the children. Again, we can be thankful for Christian fathers who take on their share of responsibility for nurturing their young. Parenting is an awesome responsibility for both mothers and fathers. And none of us are perfect parents. I have never known any parent who didn’t have some regrets about past failures in parenting. As there are no perfect people, there are no perfect parents. All of us have fallen short of being perfect parents. All of us carry some regrets of ways we may have failed our children at one time or another. But the good news is that despite the mistakes we may have made, as long as we have life, it is never too late to become better parents and to have a new start. Paul’s words in II Corinthians 5:17, “So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation . . .” are for everyone: married and single, men and women, fathers and mothers. But in light of Father’s Day this coming Sunday, this passage is particularly pertinent for us fathers to consider. Paul tells us we can make a new beginning. It’s not too late to start over. If there are any regrets about our lives up to this point, they can be redeemed “ . . . everything old has passed away; everything has become new.” Over the next few days, we’re going to consider some ways we can become better parents.
Gracious Father, help us to become better parents to our children. Help us to become the loving, kind, responsible parents that you are toward us. In Jesus name. Amen.
Questions for Reflection
- What regrets do you have about any failings or short comings you have had in raising your children?
- What are ways you could reach out to your children and improve your relationship with them? What is preventing you from doing so?
- 3. Paul tells us that through Christ we can become new people and have a new beginning. Despite the failures of the past, we can have a new positive start. What might a new beginning in Christ look like in your relationship with your children?