By Mike Holm, Pastor of Calvary Chapel
“Tiny fingers curled around mine. Perfectly formed. Newborn. The image of two. Infinite mystery. I wanted to know where life comes from.”
— from Eagle Song, by the Imperials
David and Elizabeth were near neighbors of ours for a number of years in Meadow Pointe during our younger years. Great people! Great parents! David was a funny guy. I’ll never forget a classic line of his about parenting. It painted the practice on the canvas of reality as plainly as anyone could portray it. Reflecting on the time when they had but one little shy, introverted, compliant girl, David said, “For years, when I would hear other parents talking about all the problems they were having making their kids mind, I would think, ‘What’s the matter with these people?’
“In fact,” he said, “I even started thinking about writing a book on parenting. You know, to try and help out the poor, inept types who can’t see how to raise perfect children. But then,” he went on to say, “Jonathan was born.”
I think you get the picture. Suffice to say that child number two had a somewhat different temperament then child number one, resembling, at times, the sweet and pleasing manner of a cat caught in a ventilator fan. It wasn’t long after my friend gave up on his book project.
Raising the perfect child is the title of this article. But it’s a trick title. If it were about what it sounds like, I would certainly need to save my fingers for a more honest venture, like say, counting ballots. I mean, my wife and I sure didn’t pull off that feat with any of our three children. Great daughters! But, alas, a little more like their parents then we could have wished. Truth be told, my parents missed the mark about as far as my first tee shot did the fairway.
Gang, trace this tendency back up the ole’ family tree as far as you want. Take it clear up to Mr. and Mrs. Noah. Continue right to the door of Adam and Eve. You’ll find you’re loaded with family tree disease as far as your family branches will stretch.
And therein lies the point behind this article, the answer to the mystery behind why no parents ever prevail at raising perfect children. It’s simply because the presence of imperfection is as potently prolific in all us parents as it is in all our posterity. What was true of David is true of us all.
“Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.” (Psalm 51:5).
I’m hoping this is making some hurting mom feel at least a little bit better. I know there are some moms out there who are being very hard on yourselves for no reason this Mother’s Day season.
After 32 years of pastoring, I’ve seen plenty of self-inflicted pain of some precious moms pining because of a prodigal who was a prodigal, even when still in the womb.
What’s it take to raise a perfect child?
Precious moms, please know that in the history of Earth, only one woman achieved the elusive honor of rearing a perfect prodigy. And lest you say to yourself, “Yes, which proves it can be done, but I failed,” we need all to stop and consider what was and was not the reason behind her success.
“And Mary said, ‘My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior. For He has regarded the lowly state of His maidservant, for behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed. For He who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is His name.’” (Luke 1:46-49)
Blessed Mary! All generations of moms should realize how blessed she was! But upon what grounds? That she raised a perfect child? No! That is not why we rightly call Mary blessed. But we call her blessed because she was given to raise a perfect child! A child who would have been perfect if any other mother on Earth had raised Him. Oh, listen to again to her humble words, “He who is mighty has done great things for me.”
It wasn’t like God thought, “Okay, the world is pining in sin. It’s a complete train wreck down there. Time to implement the plan. The world needs a Lamb. It needs a PERFECT Lamb. A Lamb without spot (inherent imperfection) or defect (acquired imperfection) of ANY kind! To produce this, we will need to find the perfect mom. A mom who will practice perfect parenting so as to produce a perfect prodigy. Gabriel, go find me a perfect mom to raise for Me a perfect Son to be for them a perfect Lamb and make a perfect payment for this altogether sinful and imperfect race of man.”
If that were the mission, Gabriel would still be roaming around the Earth today.
A word to moms from your kids
Dear Mom, please know in your heart that, to us, you are so precious! We realize we gave you a Mission Impossible, making the assignments Peter Graves handed his team look like a trip to the beach at sunset! Because as precious and perfect as we once appeared to you when you lovingly cuddled and caressed our little 7 lb. 5 ounce selves, the sin was already there. But Mom, you loved us anyway! And you taught us right from wrong! And you believed in us! We know our failings have hurt your heart at times. But Mom, please know that to us, you were and always will be A WONDERFUL MOM!
17538 Livingston Ave., Lutz.
You are invited to our services every Sunday at 10:15. Hope to see you soon!