I still regret yelling at my children and throwing my arms up in frustration. I still regret being embarrassed over bad behavior as if my children were reflections of my parenting skills. I still regret making a clean house a priority and not taking more time for fun. I wish there were do-overs in the world of parenting. Wouldn’t it be great if we could push the delete button and rewrite the regrets of life!
When I took up golf several years ago, I was delighted that second chances were allowed…only because I was the master of swing and miss! In golf, a mulligan is a second drive off the tee if the first swing is bad. Mine usually was. The best part about mulligans is there’s no penalty for missing and trying again. Mulligans work only in the world of golf; in the circuit of life there’s no room for do-overs. As a mother of adult children, I look back on life with lots of regrets. I cringe thinking about slamming a bedroom door because of lost sleep. I cringe thinking about words spoken in anger or haste. I cringe thinking about being too busy to really listen. I hope they don’t remember.
Oh, the times I failed to be the mother I wanted to be…or what others expected me to be! My only hope was leaning on Jesus. He had a way of filling in the gaps where I failed. I learned to pray more desperately after I had children. At times the task was too demanding, so I learned to talk to Jesus about all my concerns. Lamentations 2:19 became the theme of my life, “Lift up your hands to him for the lives of your children.”
My hands were lifted up in desperation many times. I would take my children’s pictures off the wall and pace the floor praying for them. I knew I couldn’t do this parenting thing alone. Some may claim I had an advantage with children nearly ten years apart in age. But whether you have an only child or four preschoolers, Jesus is your lifeline. Hold on to Him and His Word, and you’ll see the fruit of your labor. Having two sons that walk with Jesus is all I ever wanted for “I have no greater joy than to know my children walk in truth. ” I’ve admitted to our sons that they made their mom and dad look good. They really turned out pretty well considering all the mistakes we made. The Bible tells us in Jeremiah to not boast about our wisdom, strength or riches but to boast that we understand and know the Lord. I boast that we were in a life giving relationship with Jesus Christ, and He did the work that was needed to cause my children to choose Him. My part was to pray.
So if you’ve got some regrets as a mom and wished you had some mulligans, remember this. God will fill in the gaps of human failure when you rely on the One who makes all things new.