“No parent gives mercy better than one who is convinced that they desperately need mercy themselves,” Pastor Paul David Tripp.
How good is that quote? As I face the close of the first year of my daughter’s life (as well as working with many children and adolescents in my counseling practice), I can say with full certainty that if there is any area that I am personally growing in- it is a deeper understanding of this thing called “mercy”.
Everyone said that having children would completely change our lives… I now know this to be very true. No one has thrown out an “I told you so…” but if they did, I would humbly receive it. My wife and I went on a date this week and were thinking about times gone by where we would take a day trip to the mountains to snowshoe for hours on end, spend a whole weekend skiing on the slopes, or spend an entire Saturday exploring our city- going from Groupon special to Groupon special without much care or concern. Those are good memories! But, the truth remains that things are different now. Although we still go to the mountains and explore Denver, adjustments have to be made for baby which can quickly change pre-determined expectations and lead to frustration. Any parent (I think) will tell you in an honest moment that when the whining, temper-tantrums, screaming, and teething pains come… accessing mercy and patience can sometimes feel like grasping at straws. We “lose it” momentarily (at least on the inside). Then the guilt attempts to make it’s assault on our mind. Then the warm wash of shame tries to cover us, convincing us that we are “bad” parents.
The dictionary defines mercy as, “compassion or forgiveness shown toward someone whom it is within one’s power to punish or harm.” That’s intense language. Parenting is such a huge responsibility, accompanied with a sense of power that must be properly stewarded. I can only wield that kind of power with a heart drenched in humility. We are called, as parents, to represent His character to our children. To represent His mercy to our children.
Hebrews 4:16 challenges us: “Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”
With confidence? Sometimes, I am lucky to “draw near” with gritted teeth and a resolve to swallow my pride and selfishness… “with confidence” is a good goal, though. But, I will do what I have to because I know that I am desperate for His mercy. I realize that I will fail to be able to give it if I fail to learn my need for it. We need to study and learn the character of God so that we can learn this kind of confidence and receive the fullness of this gift that He is offering us.
“You delight in showing mercy, and mercy triumphs over judgment.” Mercy by Amanda Cook
Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence,
so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
As we head into 2017, will you seek to know more intimately the one who offers this profound demonstration of love that could never be achieved or earned?
By Kegan Mosier, MA, LPCC
Husband to Mikelle
Dad of one daughter, Reese Noel
1 Corinthians 13 Parenting Team Member
Mental Health Counselor at Cornerstone Christian Counseling
Worship/Creative Ministries Pastor at Passionate Life Church
Register for the 2017 Kansas City HeartCORe Single Parent Conference January 21.
Click HERE for more information and to register.
The HeartCORe Single Parent Conference will inspire and encourage you to be the best mom or dad you can be during these challenging times. Be blessed by the messages given by single parent gurus, Misty Honnold (The Single Mom KC) and Matt Haviland (A Father’s Walk Single Dad Ministry). Current cutting edge information for families will be presented by Lori Wildenberg and Becky Danielson, co-founders 1 Corinthians 13 Parenting.