Kids Need Their Mom…to Let Them Make Really Dumb Mistakes without Condemnation
My kids have made several dumb mistakes. The kinds of things that made me want to cry and fume and stomp through the house. Actually, I think I did cry and fume and stomp a few times. They were the kind of dumb mistakes that make you want to yell into their face, “What in the world were you thinking? You, of all people, know better.”
And they do know better, all of them. All of my kids know right from wrong. They have each one asked Jesus Christ to be their Savior. They have attended church, youth groups, Bible studies, and Christian school. They have a Bible teacher for a mom. For crying out loud, my kids know the right thing to do. And they have also been taught that when they do not know what to do, if they are unsure or confused or feeling pressured, do nothing! Stand still and call your mom. Or run and call your mom. Either way, do not choose out of confusion or pressure.
Yet, we’ve had some dumb mistakes and the consequences that come attached to dumb mistakes. And I hate it. Doggone it, I just hate for them to have to suffer a stupid consequence that could have been avoided. But my four children are certifiable sinners. Each born with a sin nature. Each parented by this mom who every day keeps on proving how much she needs a Savior too. And it looks like none of us will be able to raise children without suffering through a few, or many, dumb mistakes. So given that discouraging news, the question becomes, how will we love them when they’ve really blown it?
First thing, I believe we have permission to be mad. Sure, I think we are supposed to feel a righteous anger over the poor choices our kids have made. But the Bible instructs us to be angry and sin not. What that means is that we can feel the anger, and talk about our anger, and pray through our anger, but not one of us should make a decision based on our anger. Second, if your child has blown it big, you have to let the consequences unfold. Hard as it may be to watch, the worst possible thing you can do is to stop what is unfortunately deserved. Finally, the consequence is enough. We are supposed to discuss the dumb mistake or the flat-out sin. Talk through the consequence and then adhere to whatever discipline is required. And then, you and I need to be the first to forgive their disobedience or their disappointing behavior.
Our kids will do some really dumb things in this life, but like Christ, may we be the first to give them no condemnation.
Angela Thomas is a sought-after speaker, teacher, and bestselling author of Do You Think I’m Beautiful?, My Single Mom Life, Prayers for My Baby Boy, and Prayers for My Baby Girl. She inspires thousands at national conferences, workshops, and through video studies that she filmed and wrote including Brave: Honest Questions Women Ask.