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Purposed Parent Connected Child Podcast Episode 075 - Embrace Being an Imperfect Parent but Don't Stay There

Purposed Parent Connected Child Podcast Episode 075 - Embrace Being an Imperfect Parent but Don't Stay There

Welcome to the Purposed Parent/Connected Child podcast – Episode 075 – Embrace Being an Imperfect Parent But Don’t Stay There

Godly over good parenting. Have you heard that term before? I speak of it often. In fact, it’s become one of my favorite ways to connect with someone when we talk about parenting. Why? One of the greatest joys of my life has been finding out the truth about parenting. It wasn’t until I began to see the holy privilegebestowed by God when He allows one to become a parent that I also felt one of the deepest sorrows of my life. How did something so joyous bring such sorrow?

Sorrow is described as a type of grieving or regret. The fact that the definition labels sorrow as a form of grief speaks to the depth of remorse. But did you know that there are different types of sorrow? One is a human, fleshly sorrow, the other a godly sorrow.

2 Corinthians 7:10-11a says, “Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death. See what this godly sorrow has produced in you: what earnestness, what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what alarm, what longing, what concern, what readiness to see justice done.

What exactly is godly sorrow? The Bible refers to godly sorrow as sorrow that is prompted or produced by the Holy Spirit and aligns with the will of God. It is God, by His grace, who grants our saving faith, which includes repentance from sin.

2 Timothy 2:25 says, “He must gently reprove those who oppose him, in the hope that God may grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth.”

The repentance I felt over parenting brought a godly sorrow that was brought by my deepening walk with Christ. Knowing Christ more intimately dropped the ego from my parenting skills. By the world’s standards I was an excellent parent, but by God’s measure, I was not the godly parent He calls each believer to be.

Believers know that true repentance cannot occur unless genuine sorrow for the sin committed is felt. In fact, godly repentance identifies the salvation of a believer. One following Christ as Savior and in a maturing relationship with Jesus will continue to repent of sins as awareness of fleshly desires and actions are recognized and committed. This allows a deepening walk and the fruit of the Spirit to flourish in the life of the believer.

On the other hand, what is referred to as human sorrow is simply remorse that is not in alignment with God’s will. Perhaps the person becomes remorseful because they were caught in an act or they didn’t reach an intended result. Perhaps their pride is wounded by the actions of another or by something they personally did or didn’t complete. When someone carries this type of human sorrow, joy, peace, hope, or any of the fruits easily identifiable in the life of a believer aren’t identified. Instead, the person may experience feelings such as depression, despair, hopelessness, self-pity, embarrassment, or anger.

When we are genuinely repentant, however, our attitude changes. Righteousness is pursued eagerly. We desire Christ to cover and carry us. No longer indifferent to sin, evil, or deception, our character and desires shift closer to Christ’s as the Holy Spirit continues redeeming work within us. We grieve that our actions and desires once brought pain and dishonor to our Heavenly Father. We are filled with gratitude for the work Jesus performed on the cross, allowing us to approach the Father and restore relationship with Him. As the Holy Spirit continues a transforming work within, we long for holiness to define our nature and realize it can only come through the life-saving power of Christ as we continue to humbly submit with love and reverence to Him.

This is what happened to me after raising my first set of children. My husband and I were good parents when we raised our first set of children, very good in the eyes of the world. Beginning our family at the age of 18, we were often told that we were mature for our years and wise in many areas. While it felt wonderful to receive the praise of others, their words didn’t bring the joy that I later learned came from purposely parenting to please and honor the Lord.

I learned how sorrow can pertain to parenting. As humans, none of us are perfect. No one can claim 100% skillful parenting the way God would call. First, humans will never reach the perfection of Christ. Second, we live in a fallen world, and no matter how well a person attempts to parent, human desires, meaning the parent’s, the child’s, siblings, family, friends, or strangers, events, needs, wants, mistakes, etc. will interject or interfere in some way. Life isn’t easy and raising humans to adulthood is not a task to embark on without seeking and remaining steadfast to God and His will for the parents and the child.

If I was such a good parent, why would I feel sorrowful about parenting? Am I blaming my first set of children or saying that they turned out to be “bad” kids? Definitely not. My thoughts don’t reflect on them at all, but totally on my husband and me. On this side of raising my first set, I can see how we were young and spiritually immature. In fact, I didn’t know Jesus as Savior until years later, and even then, it took me a while to really understand what being discipled meant. If you think about it logically, if I wasn’t growing in relationship with God through an intentionally deepening and maturing walk with Christ, how could I expect my parenting skills to draw my children to Him? I couldn’t exhale to my children what I hadn’t yet inhaled.

As I grew in Jesus at the time, it was through sporadic readings of my Bible. There might be times I read often, then times of just seeing my Bible on the nightstand, letting it remind me of how much I loved Jesus, but I thought I didn’t have time to read. Just because I had a Bible in my house, that didn’t mean I was absorbing God’s holy wisdom and learning to use it is ways that drew my children to His feet. Did they know Jesus? Yes. We talked about God, but were they learning to depend on Him for every need as they grew a strong walk with Him? There’s a massive gap between children knowing mom and dad love and follow Christ and hearing their words of wisdom to train them versus seeing mom and dad live a maturing faith moment by moment and instilling God’s morals and truths to build a lifetime of trust and obedience to Christ and build their identity through Him.

The tricky part is that I thought I was building that faith and trust in Christ. I’ve learned that without a purposed plan to raise each child in the truths of the gospel and the joy of the Lord, you are building your house on shifting sand. Matthew 7:24-26 says, “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand.”

When my kids were raised and my husband and I knew God was calling us to begin a second round of parenting with our baby girl from China, I felt the sting of repentant, godly remorse. Our Heavenly Father was speaking to my heart, telling me He had plans far different for this child than I ever imagined when I became a first time mom at eighteen. When He placed a desire within my husband and me to raise a baby after our first set of children were out of the house, I knew He had a purpose I had yet to understand. Growing up, I never even wanted children. Now I knew God was calling us to begin a second generation of parenting. My husband and I shared very specific desires and goals for what we would do the same and what we would do differently. We assessed our first parenting years in the ways we believed God’s eyes and heart would, then considered and prayed about what grieved and pleased Him. Our new baby would purposely see our faith and Jesus through our words, actions, reactions, desires, and deeds. We were committed to consistently raising her in ways that we prayerfully believed would delight the Lord as we sought and depended on Him.

Exodus 20:12 says, “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.” How can your children honor God if they don’t see you making that choice. As a parent models humble submission, love, and obedience to God, a natural extension of your child’s blossoming walk with God will be obedience and love toward you. We deeply desired our daughter to love God first through a relationship with Jesus, then we knew she would love and respect us, as well.

In my Set-Apart Collective, I teach mothers a Motherhood Mindset Model and how to construct a Purposed Parenting Plan much like the one we created that enables them to parent and live with godly purpose and take thoughts and actions captive for Christ as they model the way for their children to do the same.

Do you feel areas of godly parenting remorse? Whether you are a long time or new parent, you will never feel you have every aspect of parenting down. Even if your ego tells you how well you are doing, unless you are purposed in mentoring a lifetime of love and obedience to Christ in tangible ways that draw your child to Him and training your child how to live for Jesus, your parenting is in vain. The child in your care is on loan. The God who created the heavens and earth and knitted your child together in secret with a purposed plan for their life has entrusted that child to your care to raise for Him. Are you up to the task?

What are ways you can embrace being an imperfect parent without staying there? Knowing God entrusted His children to your care, you must remember that He didn’t haphazardly choose you or your child. With loving, trusting intentions, He placed you and each child you parent with you. Of course He knows you’re not able to raise children without Him. He is calling for you to give Him the sovereign place He deserves and allow Him to protect and provide moment by moment as you call out to Him.

As you know, Adam and Eve were the first parents. They were also the first imperfect parents. You and I come from a very long line of imperfect caregivers. No one is able to raise children as God would call without reliance on Him in every aspect of the journey. The Bible recounts story after story offering examples of imperfect parenting and children who neglected to follow or obey God. In fact, Adam and Eve were the first disobedient children and they actually didhave a perfect Father.

Two imperfect parents did happen to raise a perfect Son, Jesus. No doubt, Mary and Joseph knew Jesus was special, but they were human. They would not know how to rear a child to become the Savior of the World, even if they had known God’s plan. God, in His goodness knew their hearts when He chose them. God knew the plan and purpose Jesus carried. God, in His Sovereignty chose the exact parents for Jesus to be raised by, knowing they would obediently, yet imperfectly choose to honor God and raise their Son for Him. God carried, guided, and guarded.

You and I don’t know the plans God has for our children. We don’t know the eternal purpose they have on this earth. But it is through our God-given authority that we must prayerfully and humbly seek God’s arms to carry us moment by moment to raise His children for Him. Just as Jesus replied in Luke 2:49 which says, “Why were you searching for me?” He asked. “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house,” you and I must constantly, prayerfully, and humbly be about our Heavenly Father’s business and show our children how to do the same in their life.

This world doesn’t honor the gift of motherhood through eyes like God. The heart of the world doesn’t beat for mothers staying home with children. It doesn’t know the value of a mother working a long day at work to provide for her children, then praise that mother for intentionally finding a way every evening to draw the hearts of her children to the feet of Jesus. As a mother rests in the arms of God, she mentors the way to Christ for her children instead of ignorantly or accidentally teaching the ways of the world. Your sacrifice, obedience, prayers, Scriptural teachings, and godly actions taken moment by moment will be the seeds God will use to harvest in His time.

To prepare the soil of your child’s heart for teachings to take root for God, there are important steps purposed mothers and fathers must take.

1. Realize that you are not enough. Praise God! You’re not meant to be. 2 Corinthians 3:5 says, “Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God.” God waits to carry you. His desire is to breathe Truth and light into your life and family. Place Him at the center of your family.

2. Become closer to God through a maturing relationship with Christ. It’s one thing to love God. It’s different to have communion with Him through Jesus. John 14:6 says, “Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. If you really know Me, you will know My Father as well. From now on, you do know Him and have seen Him.”

3. Know and love your spouse and children through eyes and heart like God. To do that, you must first know and follow the Lord in humble obedience. John 13:34 says, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”

4. Put God first, then spouse, then children, then work. Deuteronomy 6:5 says, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.”

5. Humbly honor God by reading or listening to His Word. Share His Word regularly, both individually and as a family. Speak truths to others, share the gospel, but also live in ways that show you follow Christ and give Him honor when people talk to you about the differences they see in you. Teach your child to pray and talk to God. Let your children hear you pray for them and ask them to pray for you. Pray together as a family daily. People often say they don’t have time, but I have found that when you place God first, you find you discover more time for Him. Proverbs 15:29 says, “The Lord is far from the wicked, but he hears the prayer of the righteous.

6. Let your child hear you bring God into daily conversations. Whether you’re in nature, at the store, in the car, in conversation, invite God in. Showcase God’s work in the events you are experiencing and help them form biblical critical thinking skills early in life. Set the groundwork for this process and see their skills grow as they do. Hebrews 11:6 says, “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”

7. Teach God’s Truths and let your child see you live those truths with joy, not simply preach God’s Word to them. Isaiah 54:13says, “All your children will be taught by the LORD, and great will be their peace.”

8. Parent with God-honoring authority, humility, and grace. Ask God to guide and guard your mind, heart, family, and decisions. Matthew 19:14 says, “Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” This verse will pertain to your children, whether young or grown. It’s never to late to mentor a life that honors Christ for your child to see and learn from.

I urge you to make time to assess your parenting. Assess your relationship with Christ. You may be like I was the first time I parented. Without knowing it, I was training my children to love Jesus, but rely more on self. Although we discussed Christ and knew we loved Him as Savior, looking back, moments weren’t held captive for Christ. Days slipped by without godly over good parenting to mold and shape my children into the image of Christ. Ask God to show you the way to His heart. Ask Him to guide your mind to think as His does and to show you how to reach the minds of your children for Him. Know that as you inhale Christ, you are able to exhale Him for others to breathe. Deepen and widen the roots of your maturity through relationship with Jesus and watch God work as only He can as you ask him to carry you.

Dear Heavenly Father, there is none like You. How merciful and loving You are to seek us and never let us out of Your firm grasp. Through Jesus we know we have eternal life and that nothing can pluck us from Your mighty hand. How we need You! In our wisdom we sometimes think we are following You without knowing how far we begin to stray. Father, keep us near. Draw us closer when You see us begin to wander. Don’t let us rely on worldly wisdom or fleshly thoughts. Take our minds captive for Christ and allow us to see with Your eyes and feel with Your heart. We want to parent for You! We want to see the results of children raised to know, love, and honor You. May we be able to proclaim Your mighty works and show others the way to trust Your guidance in parenting. Help our children lead the next generation in deeper faith in You and a holy obedience. In the precious name of Jesus we pray. Amen.

There’s so much more to dig into on this topic. If you find you’d like more information, please let me know. Send your questions and requests to

Supporting and encouraging mothers to rest in Christ and pursue a holy relationship with Him so they purposely raise set-apart children is the cry of my heart. I believe godly parenting is rooted in relationship with Christ and the mindset a mother carries. That’s why I’ve created the Set-Apart Collective.

Have you decided peers and culture won’t be the main influence over your child? Would you like to parent to prepare your child for eternity with Christ, not to repair a relationship? In the Set-Apart Collective, you will deepen your walk with Christ, learn a Christ-centered Motherhood Mindset Model, and create a Purposed Parenting Plan. You will be a purposed mother with an intentional mind and heart set on Christ and your family. The Set-Apart Collective wait list is open now. The first group of women is currently growing together. Please send me an email at to let me know you’d like to receive information. It’s time for believing mothers to be purposed in preparing their children for a lifetime pursuit of Christ.

If you connected in some way with this episode, would you please rate and review the podcast on Apple or Spotify? It only takes a minute or so and makes a big difference in people finding the podcast. You and I know that the best reviews are by word of mouth, so would you please choose a friend to recommend the show to? Let them know that the podcast is found at, Apple Podcasts, and Spotify. Imagine the change we will see in the way mothers parent for Christ if they learn to be intentional, too.

Remember, if you’re not purposed in knowing Jesus and showing Him to the next generation, the world will likely sway your children away from Christ. I pray that what you hear on this podcast enables you to stop being a good mom and focus on being a godly parent. Until next week, keep looking Up while focusing on new ways to parent with eternal purpose and connection.

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