When I initially began writing this, my intention was to encourage us as parents to embrace our children’s flaws and learn how to use those flaws to develop their character… but the truth is, many of us as adults haven’t learned to embrace our flaws and allowed them to develop strong character traits…
So many of us are very aware of the many flaws we possess… from physical flaws (these jiggly arms are no joke) to personality flaws and character flaws… but we attempt to hide these flaws from everyone, including our children, then become frustrated or worse, disgusted, when others display their flaws.
Guilt and shame can be powerful beasts if we allow them to, holding us in bondage while hiding in darkness, all to avoid our flaws being brought to the light. It is only when we are real to each other and confess our faults that we are able to receive healing (James 5:16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed).
What a powerful lesson we teach our children when we learn to confess our flaws… We teach them to be honest in their struggles, we teach them that no matter what they face they are not alone, we teach them to trust in the body of Christ and to live in the light.
Our children are more than just small people we are raising… they are our first accountability partners. We must always remember that they will ultimately follow in the direction we lead them. If we walk through life with an unrealistic view of perfection for ourselves and those around us, then we can expect our children to adopt this same unrealistic view of perfection. Embracing our flaws and trusting that God can use every thing about us to bring about His purpose creates a keen sense of confidence in our children. When mom looks fierce even though she is feeling insecure the message she sends is we don’t function off our feelings but off of truth… the truth is no matter how mom is feeling, she is always fierce :).
It is often in our flaws that God gets the most glory… those areas of life where we feel as if we don’t match up or just can’t seem to get right… those are the areas that God uses to bring healing to others… For years I believed that being a single parent was a major flaw in my life… a constant reminder of how I failed God and my family. I spent years pretending that it didn’t bother me, I faked perfection in my view of self… God asked me to get real with my children first and I did… I took off the mask of perfection and explained to them how I felt about not giving them a home with both parents. I apologized for the pain this caused them (if we’re hiding behind a mask then we never get the freedom that comes with apologizing). Being loved and accepted by the ones who mean the most to me meant I didn’t have to put the mask back on… It was through my transparency with my children that God was able to deliver me from the shame and bring me to a place where I am able to use what was once my flaw, and bring healing to others… In addition, my transparency has also taught my children to be honest with their flaws… whether it’s a habit of lying, talking too much at school, or being unkind to a friend… they find relief in coming home to share imperfections, knowing that perfection isn’t what I am after… Honesty and transparency are.
I encourage you, the next time your child’s behavior is anything but perfect… share with them some of your imperfections and work to hold each other accountable for growing and allow God to use those imperfections to bring Him glory… because we know God can use ALL of us… Flaws and All ~ DeShawne Coleman