A Prayer for the Parent Who Feels Guilt
By Meg Bucher
“Create in me a clean heart, O, God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.” – Psalm 51:10-12 ESV
Parenthood is ridiculous, isn’t it? Here we are, imperfect people raised by imperfect people trying to parent imperfect people in a very imperfect world. We may look back upon the cringeworthy moments of our lives and desperately pray for an eraser. But the hard things we’ve endured are exactly what qualifies us as parents. Perfection was never a requirement. In fact, it’s not even possible!
We must be like David, willing to remember our sins and the serious consequences they create. For David, the Old Testament scriptures were a very real part of his everyday life. Scriptures like Genesis 9:6, “Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed, for God made man in his own image,” would certainly be top of mind for him. (ESV) And Leviticus 20:10, “If a man commits adultery with the wife of his neighbor, both the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death.”
David did suffer grave consequences, but God chose to have mercy on him. In response, David vowed to praise God’s righteousness. (Psalm 51:14-15)
When we feel shame, fear, or doubt creeping into our parenting, we can wave the white flag! In our weakness, Jesus is strong. He is with us, always. The words David spilled out of his heart to God in prayer echo the depths of our souls over the sorrow we feel for our sin and disobedience. Our sin makes a mess of things. But God never loves us less. His mercy, by the blood of His one and only Son, covers our sins.
True repentance is a product of remembering. Not only what we have done so we can confess and continually choose to turn from that behavior; but to remember the love God has for us to send and sacrifice His one and only Son. It’s unfathomable. So let us pray for God to search our hearts daily, and continually create us anew. Great is His faithfulness. Great is His love.
Glory to You, Father, Son and Spirit, the One True God. Bring the power of the Holy Spirit into our lives to convict, counsel and comfort us. Guide us by the footsteps of Jesus, both the trial of His life on earth and the very real touch He has on our lives every single day. Help us to see You, know You, and follow Christ. Make us new, Father.
Thank You for forgiveness, and the sacrifice Jesus made to make it possible for us to embrace. We are grateful for Your mercy, compassion, and grace. You, LORD, are just and righteous. You saved all of us, wretched and soaked in sin, because You see us as we really are- Your children. Each a beautiful creation with unique purpose, You long for us to come to You, and draw us to You constantly.
We confess our strongholds of sin today, and vow to repent and draw near to You for the strength the task requires. Daily, we will choose to turn to You. Despite our imperfections, the imperfections in those around us and the ones we are doing our very best to parent, we trust You and the power of the Holy Spirit to guide our steps. Help us to see the good in everyone, Father.
In Jesus’ Name,
Meg Bucher, a freelance writer and blogger at Sunny&80, is the author of “Friends with Everyone, Friendship within the Love of Christ,” and “Surface, Unlocking the Gift of Sensitivity,” She writes about everyday life within the love of Christ. Meg earned a Marketing/PR degree from Ashland University, but stepped out of the business world to stay at home and raise her two daughters, which led her to pursue her passion to write. She has led a Bible Study for Women and serves as a Youth Ministry leader in her community. Meg, a Cleveland native and lifelong Browns fan, lives by the shore of Lake Erie in Northern Ohio with her husband, two daughters and golden doodle.
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