A Confession

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I confess, Lord, that I have nitpicked my children. Oh yes, I have. In the name of wanting to teach them the right way to go, I’ve discouraged them.

One sighs, “I can’t do anything right.” And my heart tears in two.

Please change me. Please forgive me. Please use my words to build them up, not tear them down.

I confess that I’ve set them against a standard of perfection and seen their lack. I do the same when I look in the mirror.

Show me — and them — how to walk humbly on our ways, hopeful and confident that You are working in us,  transforming us, and making us more into Your image. Give me wisdom to know how to praise and when to correct.

Please give me eyes to see how very much my cup overflows — and to be thankful.


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  1. Thank you for that beautiful prayer. It was just what I needed. I have felt that same failure and conviction these last few days.
    Have you ever read the book Unrealistic Expectations: Capturing the thief of a woman’s joy By Barbra Minar? I read it many years ago, but pulled it out this week and am feeling the need to reread it. Praying for change in me and you. Your sister in Christ, Angie

  2. Thank you Jessica, for confessing this and allowing us all to see that we are all in need of a Savior.

    You’re not alone. I’m guilty of this myself. II have to constantly take the log out of my own eye before pointing out their speck, and remind myself that THEY ARE NOT ME, and therefore cannot do it the way I do it – and that’s ok. If they were me, they’d have my flaws too. God created each and every one of us for a strategic purpose, both flaws and gifts – according to His sovereign plan – and includes the children He’s allowing us to raise on His behalf.

    May grace be multiplied to you, on His behalf.

    Thank you again.

  3. “I confess that I’ve set them against a standard of perfection and seen their lack. I do the same when I look in the mirror.”

    Yes. I do this to myself and others, including my husband and daughter.

    Thank you for this excellent reminder.

  4. Thanks for the timely reminder 🙂

    Be encouraged by the fact that children are quick to forgive and forget their parents’ sins/faults.

    Have a blessed Sabbath!

  5. I read your blog regularly but have never commented before. I have to comment today to say thank you for this post. Mothering can be the loneliest job, especially when you feel like you are not doing it well. I have been so convicted of this same thing in myself and I pray to the Lord to show me when I am doing this to my precious children so I can STOP! I had a situation this week when my daughter gave me a thoughtful compliment and it made me want to live up to her compliment. Her one postitive comment made me stop and change my behavior. If that is the case with me, why wouldn’t positive encouragement work with my kids?

  6. Oh my, thanks for reminding us that we don’t just have to beat ourselves up but can turn to the One who doesn’t keep a record of wrongs and His mercies are new every morning! I am humbled by your prayer and grateful for your willingness to share your shortcomings – as well as all of your successes!!

    1. Love it that He doesn’t keep score. Wow. Thanks for that encouraging word.

  7. Wow – you captured exactly the struggle that I have had this week! Thank you for pouring out your heart to the Lord and reminding the rest of us to do the same in this area!

  8. Thank you – for speaking words my heart has said (both the good ones and the bad ones).

  9. I too am guilty of this. We strive so hard for our children to be better than us. We want them to succeed. Yet we sometimes forget to encourage, I am guilty.

  10. At least you’ve realized the problem! My mom never did– and wondered why she never had any help around the house. If your choices are get in trouble for doing the dishes wrong or get in trouble for not doing them, guess which is easier?

    1. THAT is an interesting way of looking at it! Definitely gives perspective.

  11. Thank you so much! I’ve needed that, for my interactions with my family as well as for myself. I never thought of myself as having a critical spirit, but perhaps I do.

    I’m so glad the Lord will for give this sin, too.

  12. God was revealing this very same thing to me this morning. Ugh. Doesn’t it all boil down to control? For reasons unknown at times, good or bad, we want our children to be “good.” I think most of the time our motivation is well meant, but boy do we miss the mark! Right there with you today.

  13. This is so on my heart this morning. I was getting on my daughter’s case about her messy room and suddenly had a guilty thought of the condition of my own bedroom. Ouch. So in need of grace today.

  14. Oh Jessica, me too. It’s hard to not feel completely defeated from my lack of patience. I feel like God always shows me my weaknesses so that I realize that I have to pray through them. Only He can change me!

  15. Thanks you so much for sharing. I really needed that. My husband and I have a 27 year old daughter, a 22 and 20 year old sons. We have adopted 3 of 4 of our 27 year olds little ones and our 2 sons are still home. We have started over with a 7 year old and twin 6 year olds. We ask ourselves where we went wrong everyday and hope to avoid the same mistakes with these three. God Bless!