An Imperfect Family is the Most Wonderful Life
As a dad, I’ve come to realize that the beauty of parenting, marriage, and family life is in the imperfections.
True joy comes in embracing imperfection.
As parents, we often put pressure on ourselves to be perfect and to raise perfect children, but the truth is, we are all imperfect.
We’re growing, adapting, and developing and we don’t always get it right.
Our kids are imperfect and that’s okay. In fact, it’s more than okay, it’s wonderful, they are ‘objects’ of our affection, not projects we need to complete.
In Lauren Winner’s book “Beauty Through Imperfection”, she speaks about the importance of embracing our flaws and seeing the beauty in them.
Imperfect Kids, Imperfect Parents
As parents, it’s easy to criticize ourselves and our children for not being perfect, but the truth is, no one is perfect.
The Bible states that ‘all have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God’.
No exceptions, we all miss the mark in some way.
It’s okay to make mistakes. In fact, it’s par for the course! It’s important to understand that no one is perfect, not even our kids. They will make mistakes and they will have flaws, just like we do. It’s important for us as parents to come to terms with this and embrace the imperfections of our children.
It is in that place of being aware of our human nature, that we can appreciate the beauty of who we are and let go of our expectations and attempts to be flawless and perfect.
Why Marriage Is So Important
Marriage is an important aspect of family life and it’s something that should be embraced and cherished.
God’s design for family is one man and one woman being fruitful and multiplying (having children). We live in a society that is moving further and further away from the nuclear family and biblical model.
It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day routine of marriage and lose sight of the beauty that it brings. But it’s important to remember that marriage is about revealing the beauty of Jesus and His covenant with us to each other and the world. It’s about loving and accepting your spouse for who they are, flaws and all. It’s about forgiving and understanding that no one is perfect.
We all must learn and grow together through many trials and tribulations. In doing so and growing together we become steadfast and resilient in the face of adversity.
Our children are watching everything we say and do. If we want to develop and raise children who are world changers, children who thrive in challenges, who embrace imperfection and pursue wonder, love, and peace then we must model this to them in our marriage relationship.
When we model this to our children, they will begin to learn from their mistakes, forgive others, and realize that striving for perfection isn’t the goal.
Loving well and loving others is the goal.
Embracing The Messiness of Parenting
Spoiler alert, lol.
Parenting can be messy and it can be hard.
It’s important to embrace the messiness and see the beauty in it. God is in EVERYTHING.
True beauty is more than a perfect Instagram feed or the perfect makeup on the perfect family photo etc.
Loving ourselves, embracing the process we are in, and choosing to believe that we are beautiful, loved, desired, and wanted allows us to share that and impart that to our children.
Inner beauty is everything! Fostering a kind internal dialogue with yourself that pours out to your children with words of affirmation is so important in helping to build their identity. while focusing on the outside beauty.
The Illusion of Perfection
It’s too easy to get caught up in the pressure to look perfect and to be perfect, but the truth is, no one is perfect.
Social media paints one side of the story and creates a constant discontent in our hearts and a desire for more. That can be a positive motivation, but more often than not it creates jealousy in me, a switch of focus to wanting the ‘stuff’ rather than finding contentment in what I already have.
We are being perfected, we are on a journey to perfection.
I am Loved as I am
It’s important to remember that we are loved as we are, flaws and all.
God says in the Bible, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11) This verse reminds us that God loves us unconditionally, regardless of our flaws and mistakes.
Additionally, 1 John 4:18 states, “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.”
These verses remind us that we should not be afraid of rejection or rejection because of our flaws because we are loved by God perfectly and unconditionally.
It’s important to remember that we are also loved by others, family, friends, and loved ones, they will also love us even with all our flaws and mistakes.
It’s also important to remember that we should also love ourselves as we are, flaws and all. We should accept ourselves and believe the truth that we don’t have to change ourselves to be loved and accepted.
Jesus didn’t say, clean up your mess and come to me. He invites us forward in the midst of our mess and with one glance of His eyes, we experience the warmth of His unconditional love. Then within us bubbles up (through the power of the Holy Spirit) the desire to follow the way of Jesus.
How to see Beauty in Imperfection?
One way to see beauty in imperfection is to step back and look at things objectively. It’s important to remember that our flaws and imperfections are a part of who we are and they make us unique.
That being said, it’s not an excuse to be toxic and not take ownership of real issues.
You are valuable regardless of whatever you’ve got going on. Begin to accept and love yourself, and instead of comparing yourself to others you can being to do the work on healing those broken areas.
It’s important to understand that beauty is essential and should be pursued in all aspects of our lives, including parenting, marriage, and family life.
We were made for beauty and to experience beauty.
We live in a fallen broken world, yet beauty surrounds us.
The birds singing in the trees are beautiful.
The sunrise or sunset on a mountain, lake, or beach is beautiful.
The laugh of a human is beautiful.
Beauty is everywhere.
God, I pray and ask that you open our eyes to see and recognize the beautiful world you have created.
Stop Comparing Yourself to Others
Another way to see beauty in imperfection is to stop comparing ourselves to others.
We often put pressure on ourselves to be perfect and to be like others, but the truth is, we are all unique and special in our own way. It’s important to understand that we are all different and that we all have different strengths and weaknesses.
No one!! Is better than another person, we are all equal and all worthy of love.
Be Kind to Yourself
It’s important to be kind to ourselves and to understand that we are all on a journey to perfection.
It’s easy to criticize ourselves for not being perfect, but the truth is, we are all human and we all make mistakes.
Learn to forgive yourself and understand that you are doing the best you can with what you’ve been given.
It’s important to remember that as parents, we are not only raising our children, but we are also raising ourselves.
What Does God Say About Family?
In the Bible, God speaks about the importance of family and the beauty that it brings. He teaches us that marriage and family are about the glory of God and that our spouse is not our enemy. He also teaches us that isolation is a subtle killer of relationships and that our marriage must be built to outlast the kids. The first essence of rearing children is “identity”.
Establish a foundation in your child where they know they were made by God, who loves them unconditionally. Teach them their worth and how God loved them so much, He sent His son to die for them and that no matter what they do or say or where they go, they will ALWAYS be loved!
Marriage and Family are about the Glory of God.
In Ephesians 5:21-33, it says, “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.”
This verse teaches us that marriage and family are about the glory of God and that we should submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.
Our marriages are a reflection to the world of God’s covenant with us.
Your Spouse is NOT Your Enemy.
In 1 Corinthians 7:3-5, it says, “The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife.”
This verse teaches us that our spouse is not our enemy, but rather, they are our partner in life.
We’re on the same team now, fighting together not against each other.
Build each other up and support each other.
Isolation is a Subtle Killer of Relationships.
In Ecclesiastes 4:9-12, it says, “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone?”
This verse teaches us the importance of relationships and how isolation can be a subtle killer of them.
If you’ve ever watched a show on National Geographic or Planet Earth you’ll see the tactic of the animals that hunt (Jaguars, Lions, Cheetah etc).
Identify the prey that is the weakest or the easiest to isolate and disconnect them from the larger group.
Once isolated, they can pounce and dominate.
It’s the tactic of the enemy who seeks to devour. He wants to isolate you, put you against each other and destroy you.
Do whatever you can to maintain intimacy, connection, and togetherness.
Your Marriage Must Be Built To Outlast The Kids.
In Malachi 2:14-16, it says, “You ask, ‘Why?’ It is because the Lord is the witness between you and the wife of your youth. You have been unfaithful to her, though she is your partner, the wife of your marriage covenant. Has not the Lord made them one? In flesh and spirit, they are his. And why one? Because he was seeking godly offspring. So guard yourself in your spirit, and do not break faith with the wife of your youth.”
This verse teaches us the importance of building a marriage that will outlast the kids and that will be built on faithfulness and godly offspring.
There will be a day when your kids leave home.
Was your life built on your kids, or did you build a life together with God?
Don’t let that day come as a shock when after 20 years the thing (child) you had in common has left the house leaving you with no content in your relationship.
Date each other, show interest in things outside of work, family, etc.
Grow a relationship.
The First Essence of Rearing Children is “Identity.”
In Proverbs 22:6, it says, “Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.”
This verse teaches us that the first essence of rearing children is giving them a strong sense of identity and teaching them the right values and morals. As parents, it’s our responsibility to guide our children and set them on the right path. By teaching them about God, His love, and His plan for their life, we are giving them a foundation that will help them navigate through life’s challenges.
Determine Your Core Values as a Couple.
This is a huge one.
As a family, we have developed our core values as a family and print them off to post around the house to remind us what we stand for and value.
As a couple, it’s important to determine your core values and to make sure that they align with God’s values. These core values will serve as a guide in your marriage and in your parenting. They will help you make decisions and navigate through difficult situations. It’s important to communicate these values to your children and to make sure that they understand their importance.
Include your children in the process of developing family values, it’s always interesting to hear what they have already picked up as things you value.
God is a Good Father
What we think about God is the most important thing about us – A.W Tozer.
Is he distant, angry, and displeased with us and our actions?
Or is He proud of us, positive and loving, full of joy, and always available?
It’s the latter. He is a good dad!
As a dad, I’ve come to realize over and over that God is a good father and that His grace is enough. He is always there for us, even in our imperfections. He is always ready to forgive and guide us. We can trust in Him and His love for us. He is always ready to help us and to give us the strength and wisdom we need to navigate through life’s challenges.
God’s Grace is Enough
In 2 Corinthians 12:9, it says, “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”
This verse teaches us that God’s grace is enough and that His power is made perfect in our weaknesses. We don’t have to be perfect to be loved and accepted by God. His grace is sufficient for us.
*breathes a sigh of relief*
6 Funny Marriage Quotes
- “To keep your marriage brimming, with love in the wedding cup, whenever you’re wrong, admit it; whenever you’re right, shut up.” – Ogden
- “Being married is like having a color television set. You never want to go back to black and white.” – Unknown
- “Before I got married, I had six theories about raising children; now I have six children and no theories.” – John Wilmot
- “I married for love but the obvious side benefit of having someone around to find my glasses cannot be ignored.” – Cameron Esposito
- “Before you marry a person you should first make them use a computer with slow Internet to see who they really are.” – Will Ferrell
- “Marriage is the bond between a person who never remembers anniversaries and another who never forgets them.” – Ogden Nash