How I Discovered That His Grace Is Sufficient

by: Michael Woods | April 3, 2017

The Perfect Life: There was a perfect man who met a perfect woman. After a perfect courtship, they had a perfect wedding. Then they had perfect children and were the perfect parents. Their life together was, of course, perfect. The End.

Perfect. That’s how I always pictured how my life story was going to go. Wrong. It’s going more like this: There was an imperfect man who met an imperfect woman. They DID have a perfect wedding! Then they had imperfect children and were the imperfect parents. Their life together was, of course, imperfect. The End.

When it comes to parenting, what’s the picture you had in mind? Something akin to The Perfect Story? The truth is we are all holding a mental picture of what perfect parenting looks like. Everywhere we turn we’re confronted with images on TV, billboards, magazines, the mall, and even in church of the model family. Unfortunately these images often don’t look anything like reality.

When my boys with autism were younger I just about exhausted myself trying to be the perfect parent. Between attempting to learn ABA, implementing a GFCF diet, reading up on chelation, keeping up with work, paying bills, and trying to help out with laundry, I was tired, cranky, and feeling guilty. Feeling guilty for the other oh-so-many things that were being neglected in spite of my attempts to do everything a perfect parent could possibly do.

Trying to achieve perfection as a parent leads to an array of problems. It is exhausting to keep up with our own ideas of what the perfect parent is like. We simply don’t have enough time or energy to do everything that the “perfect parent” does, especially when a child with special needs is involved.

When we attempt to be the perfect parent we set ourselves up for disappointment and disappointment leads to frustration and even low self-esteem.

If your parenting picture is not where you want it to be, you may be tempted to throw in the towel. Don’t. Let me give you the one word that can change a perfect parenting perspective: Grace.

God’s Word says, “My grace is sufficient for you.” (2 Cor. 12:9).

Just what does that mean? It means that:

When you’re exhausted and think you can’t possibly get everything done—
His grace is sufficient for you.

When you’re having a hard time with your child who sometimes gets under your skin—
His grace is sufficient for you.

When you’re tempted to let your frustration loose and speak harshly to your child—
His grace is sufficient for you.

When you don’t know which direction to go or what decision to make—
His grace is sufficient for you.

Whatever is currently happening in your family’s life, His grace is sufficient for you. Ask Him for His resources to meet your parenting needs and to help you through whatever your challenges may be.

• “And He has said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.’ Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may dwell in me.” 2Corinthians 12:9

Here are two grace-based ideas for parenting a child with special needs:

Allow the grace of God to function in you as a parent. Parenting a child with special needs is an impossible task, in and of ourselves. The apostle Paul explained that “we are not adequate to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is of God” (II Cor. 3:5). Only as Christian parents understand this grace-activity of God in Jesus Christ, and are faithfully receptive to His divine activity in their parenting, will they function as the parents that God intends. Christian parenting is only accomplished by the grace of God.

Entrust your child[ren] to the grace of God. By now it may be obvious that you cannot make your child into what you want him/her to be. That’s okay. God is quite capable of working in your child’s life, despite whatever you might do (or not do!) as a parent. Parents can do their children the greatest favor by entrusting them to the gracious oversight of God. This does not mean that you abdicate your parenting responsibilities, but that you recognize your dependency upon God and trust that God’s dynamic of grace will mold your child’s personality, spiritually renew him, physically protect her, and cause him/her to be all that He wants your child to be.

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