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Receiving God’s Forgiveness In Parenting

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine
The Truth Network Radio
April 7, 2021 2:00 am

Receiving God’s Forgiveness In Parenting

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine

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April 7, 2021 2:00 am

We may never have award-winning memories of being the greatest of parents, but often the guilt and shame of our parenting mistakes can haunt us. How can we keep from being sidelined? Dave and Ann Wilson share wisdom about recognizing Satan's schemes and embracing God's forgiveness.

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When she was in the middle of raising her family, Ann Wilson remembers being loaded down, being burdened with mom guilt. At night, especially in the silence, I would hear things like, oh, you failed today. Oh, you messed up. You shouldn't have said this. And then I would start to worry and project into the future.

They're going to do this and they're going to hate our home and they're not going to like me. And Dave is over there, fast asleep, thinking, man, I nailed it today. And I'm thinking I was the ultimate failure today. This is Family Life Today. Our hosts are Dave and Ann Wilson. I'm Bob Lapine.

You can find us online at Can you relate? Have you felt that mom guilt, that sense that you're failing and as a result, your kids are going to wind up as juvenile delinquents? Ann Wilson understands that. We're going to talk more about that today. Stay with us. And welcome to Family Life Today. Thanks for joining us. We are all celebrating this week because it's always exciting when a new book comes out. Are you celebrating with us?

I am celebrating with you. This is really a great resource you guys have provided that I think gives moms and dads a jumpstart on the process and helps them think a little more realistically, a little more clearly, a little more purposefully on what parenting is all about and helps set the right expectations for what's ahead in the parenting journey. It's not just, though, for new parents. This is a book, you had this in mind. Parenting is a journey that kind of goes up mountains and down valleys and it's over and over again.

You're thinking that this is a book that parents of teens can benefit from even though they, as a parent of a teenager, I kind of felt like, well, if I've messed up, you know, at this point, I can't fix it. Right. But we can always make the course corrections and adjustments and we can always be growing in this area, can't we?

Yeah. And I think that this, especially in teens, I feel like we have these two points a lot of times. One, when we're about to have a family and we're kind of bombarded with these toddlers and then we kind of get in this groove.

At least this was true for us. We got in this groove like, OK, we're kind of getting it down. But then we get into teen years and we were asking again, what are we doing?

What's our bullseye? What are we trying to do together? Yeah, we did a workshop at our church years ago for parents of teenagers sold out in five minutes, you know, because they're at that stage. And of course, a lot of what we taught in the workshop we put in the book. So there's like three chapters on the teenage stage. There's chapters on the toddler stage, you name it.

So, yeah, fortunately, it's the kind of book. And it means we're old, Bob, that we can talk about these phases. Well, you shouldn't talk about parenting until you are a little older.

You ought to have a few years under your belt and be able to validate some of what you're talking about as principles. I'm wondering, in your marriage, was one of the two of you more intently focused on the parenting responsibilities than the other one? Yes. Her name is Ann. Do you think that's the same thing in our marriage?

Mary Ann was much more focused on what we need to be doing as parents. And she was the one who was saying, you need to listen to this. You need to read this. You need to think about this. She was kind of bringing me along in the process.

Yeah. I feel like I kept pulling Dave in, because it is a hard thing. A lot of times at this age with teenagers, we're at the peak of our careers. And it takes a lot of time, a lot of energy. And I think for both husband and wife, if both are working, to pour that energy back into our kids and our family is really important.

And then to not lose the goal of making Jesus the center. Do you think there is something about maternal instinct here that causes most moms to kind of gravitate in that direction, to look more inside the family while the dad is looking outside at the world around them? Do you think that's just- I do. I mean, with all of my friends, we find a lot of our validation, a lot of our identity, a lot of our joy from our kids and our family. If I would ask my friends, in fact, I just did this, a little Bible study last week. And I put on there, what are the top five things you think about the most?

Almost every person that I talked to, it was all relational and almost all those relationships were husband and kids. I'm not sure. What would men say? Top five things I think about. It wouldn't be those two. Those would be maybe in the top five, but they wouldn't be one and two.

Oh, what would you say, Bob? I think men are often focused on whatever our goal for- Accomplishing? Accomplishment is, yeah. So whether it's in the workplace, we want to make our mark.

We want to establish our identity in terms of our success and our goals there. In fact, I was thinking about this in relation to 1 Thessalonians chapter two. It's in that chapter where the apostle Paul says, we came to you, we were gentle among you as a nursing mother taking care of our own children. So Paul says, even in ministry, we tapped into the gentleness that is common with mothers who are nurturing and taking care of their kids. And then later in that same chapter, he says, for you know how, like a father with his children, we exhorted each one of you and encouraged and charged you to walk in a manner worthy of God. Isn't that interesting that here in this chapter, so a mother's nurturing, taking care of, gentle with her kids. Dad is exhorting and challenging and saying, this is who you need to be. I think there's something that the Bible's identifying for us here in terms of moms and dads and how we are instinctively bent in these different directions. And I wouldn't want to say that it's 100% all men are this way, all women are this way.

I never related to that soft, quiet, and I don't think that's what it means by that word. But I would say this about you and most women, you were in touch. With their hearts.

With the home. I mean, we've said here many times, I learned early in our marriage, Ann's more in touch with what's going on in her marriage than I am. I think our marriage is almost a 10 and she's saying it's a four.

Guess what? It's closer to a four. I'm wrong. Not because she's right and I'm wrong. She's more in touch. And so as a husband, I was like, wow, I got to listen to that and understand how do we get it to the number I think it is because she already knows.

The same thing I found was true with the kids with the home. She knew like a radar's going off. She knows what CJ's struggling with or Austin or Cody. I might be totally missing it. And there could be an arrogance in me when she says, hey, hey, you're missing something.

I'd be like, no, I'm not right. I learned. I learned to go.

You're right. I am missing it. What am I missing?

How do how do I need to engage here? We would lay in bed at night and I would say, hey, have you noticed this about one of our kids? And I'm really kind of thinking this and I feel like they're going off a little bit. He goes, what? I don't.

What are you talking about? I think women, generally speaking, are a little more dialed in emotionally. I don't know about you, Bob, but every time I said, no, I don't I don't think that's even happening. I was wrong every time. I mean, 100 percent. She was right.

And it would come around. I'm like, oh, she saw that before I did. So you have to learn like, OK, I'm going to I'm going to tune into that. I'm guessing if there are a husband and wife listening to our conversation right now together, the wife is thinking we absolutely have got to get a copy of David Wilson's book, No Perfect Parents. And the husband's going, OK, fine. Yeah. You know, if you want to get that read, I'll underline some parts. Get the audio book if you don't want to read it, dude.

Just just do it. But but I do think because moms are so dialed in on that, I think the other side of that can be that when things are not going well in parenting, that can cause a mom to feel the weight of that more profoundly than dad does, can cause her to come under the pile. More than dad. You talk in the book about the day when you secured the title of the ultimate failure as a mom. Yes.

And the trademark is pending on that title. You think what was the day that that caused you to go, I'm failing as a mom? Well, it's interesting as a mom, as our kids got a little bit older. And when you get into that training stage, I found that I felt like I was continually failing.

I have three little boys that are had a ton of energy and they're running around and I'm doing the best that I can. But I felt like I was continually failing and that I would lose my temper, that I wasn't training the way I should. I had this bombardment like, oh, Barbara Rainey probably wouldn't do that. And the other pastor's wife wouldn't do that. I was in this real comparison thing. And goodness, social media wasn't even going on. I can't imagine what it's like today. And I realized I felt like every night I went to bed, it was like I had this backpack and this burden of shame and guilt. I felt like it followed me everywhere. And at night, especially in the silence, I would hear things like, oh, you failed today. Oh, you messed up. You shouldn't have said this. And then I would start to worry and project into the future.

They're going to do this and they're going to hate our home and they're not going to like me. And Dave is over there, fast asleep, thinking, man, I nailed it today. And I'm thinking I was the ultimate failure today. And this really came to a head when our kids were younger.

I think C.J. was nine and they were seven and four. And Dave had a really long day. But I started the day off really well. And I thought, OK, this is going to be a great day. I always started really positive, like, OK, this is a good day. I made breakfast for them and I packed lunches.

And so I'm I'm like, OK, I am winning today. We pray on the way to school and I pray over the kids. They get out. The two were in school. Cody was in preschool and I was working part time. So I had to do some things. But ultimately it was a great day.

You know, and as a mom, you're kind of checking the list. Oh, good job. I'm patting myself on the back. And that burden and backpack of guilt, it's nowhere to be seen.

And so things are really good. And then Dave still wasn't home. And we were in a phase then of I'm thinking, why isn't my husband home more?

Why isn't he more engaged with me? Why isn't he participating with the kids? And this kept running through my head as he had missed dinner. And so two younger boys were playing in the family room. Like, really, now it's getting it's escalating and they're throwing balls and it's crazy. And I'm thinking, I need to get these spelling words done with our oldest. So I'm at the table with C.J.

and the teacher had mentioned, you know, I think that he could have ADHD, which it's so funny as a teacher mentions that as a mom. All you're doing is carrying that around. Is that true? What does that mean? What will the future look like? And so that's going through my head.

The kids are crowsing. Dave's late. And it's just chaos, utter chaos.

C.J. is playing at the table and he keeps knocking things over. And I'm like, we've been on the same spelling word for 15 minutes and he can't lock in. And the kitchen's a mess.

Somebody knocks something over in the family room. And I'm so frustrated. It comes to a head and I I just kind of do this grunt like, oh, my goodness.

And I do that. And as I do it, I kick the wall and my foot goes into the drywall with this eight inch hole. And my foot is stuck in the drywall. Now there's complete pandemonium going on in the house until that moment. And then there's complete silence and all the boys rush to the kitchen. They look at this hole and they are astonished. Austin, I look at the middle son and he looks at me like he's worried. He's worried for me. And then Cody, our youngest, who is only four, he has this look of admiration.

Like I am the coolest person that walks the earth. I didn't even look at C.J. Mom kicked a hole in the wall.

I didn't even look at C.J. because I was humiliated. And I'm automatically, as a mom, thinking, what does this communicate to my son? What will he remember? He is going to be on a therapist couch talking about this moment for the rest of his life. It will mess up his marriage. And that's what we do as mom.

We we now are jumping forward 50 years into the future. And so you guys, I'm so humiliated. And the boys are like, Mom.

And Cody says to me, Mom, I had no idea that you were this strong. And I feel so much guilt, shame, remorse. And I'm thinking, oh, no, the pastor is going to be home in five minutes. And how am I going to tell my husband that his wife just kicked a major hole in the wall?

So I have this brilliant idea. Yeah, tell him what you did, honey. I run upstairs and I'm going through our closet looking for the wallpaper that's on that wall and I find it. I run downstairs and I mean, I'm frantic because Dave's going to be home any minute. And I cut the wallpaper and I wet it and I put it up there and it's perfect. No one would ever know there is a hole in the wall until somebody someday removes that wallpaper. And you guys, I'm embarrassed to say that I almost told the boys, hey, let's not tell dad.

I almost said that, but I thought, no, that's really going overboard. And so as soon as I get it done, Dave walks in the door and all the boys rush to him. They're like, Dad. And you thought they were super excited to see you. They were. And I'm thinking, you know, maybe they won't even mention it. Bob, do you think that they mentioned it? They're boys.

Yes. They're like, Dad, you won't believe what happened tonight. Mom kicked a hole in the wall. And Cody is like, Dad, we had no idea Mom was this strong. And I am so embarrassed.

What did you think, Dave? Oh, I mean, I'm like, I walk over and I'm like, there's no hole. I mean, she had it perfect.

The wallpaper was lined right up. And, you know, I was like, there's no hole. And they're like poking at it, you know, like boom. Don't touch the wallpaper.

There's a big hole in the drywall. And I just thought it was hilarious. But I look over at Anne and I can tell she is really feeling really bad. You know, like this mom guilt is all over her face.

Now, of course, you got to get the kids down to bed and you got to do what you got to do. But I knew she's caring. She feels really bad because I knew she's caring. I think I shamed C.J.

Because C.J. knows her frustration with him and maybe his inability to, you know, have the attention to lock in forced her to sort of lose her cool. And so I knew this was like a big deal. So that night as the boys were going to bed, I apologized to each of them. I told them this wasn't about them. I was frustrated and I shouldn't have done that. It was sin.

I actually prayed and confessed my sin in front of the boys to God. And yet I went to bed that night and here's Dave. He's sound asleep again and I'm wide awake. I can't sleep for hours. And I'm so embarrassed to say this, even though I had apologized to C.J., I get up.

I don't know if any other moms have done this. I go down the hall. I wake C.J. up and I shake him and say, C.J., I'm so, so sorry. I shouldn't have done that. Will you forgive me? And he's like, Mom, it's fine.

You know, he's irritated. And this was a pattern for me. I would wake my kids up and then as they got older, I would get up and I would write them apology letters.

They each have stacks of apology letters that I wrote. And I think that that can be commonplace for moms at least. I'm not talking for dads, but there's a sense of guilt and failure and shame. And it's funny.

Guilt is you feel remorse and you feel bad about it or guilty. But shame is I'm broken. And that's where it turned.

I'm broken. And I'm telling you, we have an enemy of our soul. In John 10-10, when Jesus says the thief or Satan, our enemy, comes only to steal, kill and destroy. That's for real. And he wants to come into every household and kill, steal and destroy.

And who is a target? Not just our kids, but moms and dads. That for me to feel remorse and guilt, that's crippling as a mom.

And I love that Jesus right after that says, but I have come to give life and give life to the full. Is mom guilt and mom shame? You said there are lots of letters of apology that you wrote.

Yeah. Did this cycle through your motherhood or was it a theme that was kind of always the undercurrent of being a mom, that you were feeling, I'm failing at this, I'm no good at this? Did you have some days where I go, I'm winning, we're doing great. And then another day comes along, you know, I guess I'm not winning. Yeah, no, I had days that I thought I'm getting this done.

I'm doing a good job. But other days that I was just bombarded with that shame again and guilt is like I did this wrong. The shame is I am wrong. There's something wrong with me. And the days when you feel like this is working well, for whatever reason, those days don't stick with us as profoundly.

You're right. They don't mark us, like we don't walk away going, okay, I really am doing well. But the days we have the shame and the guilt, that takes us under sometimes, doesn't it?

It really takes us under. And as I've talked to moms, it's interesting, too, because as you're with moms, I remember telling this one mom, like, I yell at my kids sometimes. I don't call them names.

I don't go over to that area, but I would yell at them in frustration. And this mom said, I have never yelled at my child in my life where I'm like, see, what does that do? It's just now it's even heavier. And so I think what I didn't realize was that shame and that guilt. I wish that I would have remembered what God says about me. This is who I am. I'm a child of God.

I'm forgiven. We all sin and fall short of the glory of God, but we are also forgiven. And Jesus doesn't hold it against me.

Why am I still holding it against myself? Shame and guilt are gospel moments. Yes. These are the moments where we have to remember what's true.

Yes. I always come back to, and I think I've quoted this on Family Life Today a couple dozen times over the years, but a hymn that we sing at church before the throne of God above, the second verse says, When Satan tempts me to despair and tells me of the guilt within, upward I look and see him there who made an end to all my sin. Because the sinless Savior died, my sinful soul is counted free, for God the just is satisfied to look on him and pardon me. And it doesn't mean that in those moments of failure that we should just go, oh, well, everybody messes up, no big deal. But it does mean that in those moments of failure, what the enemy wants you to do, he wants to sideline you. He wants you to get under the pile from that and never recover. But we have to come back and say, I did mess up, and by God's grace, I'm going to live the fight another day, and I'm going to do better next time, and I'm not going to let the shame and the guilt of the experience that I've gone through take me out of the game, because that's what the enemy wants.

Exactly. In Romans 8, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. And so instead of going to bed and going back over my day of failures, I wish I would have repeated that. There is now no condemnation for me. Jesus has died. He's taken care of that. I've already confessed to him, to the kids, and I wish then that I would have taken my thoughts captive and not let the enemy take me on this carousel. It's really a roller coaster of emotions, because Jesus is good. I'm good.

He sees me as good, and I've done my best. I had something happen a number of years ago that has always been a great illustration for me. We were driving from Little Rock to Indianapolis, and we were just outside of Louisville. We were south of Indianapolis. We had about an hour and a half left to go on the trip. It was late at night. We'd been in the car all day. It was a long day.

Everybody was tired. And I had to pull off the interstate to go to the bathroom, and so we stopped. I went to the bathroom, and then I got back on the highway, and it was one of these.

It wasn't one of those easy off, easy on intersections I picked. So when we got back on the highway, I'd driven a couple of miles before I go, I got on the wrong highway. I am not on the road to Indianapolis anymore. I'm on the road to Paducah, and we're not going to Paducah. And so I'm thinking, okay, we've got to turn this car around and get back on the right road. Well, the next turnaround was 13 miles down the road. Oh, no. There's nowhere to turn.

Yeah. So I now have to drive 13 miles in the wrong direction, and then 15 miles back in the other direction. It's late at night.

The kids are in the car. I'm going, do I even tell them that we're on the wrong road, or do I just? But here's the thought I had.

My temptation at that moment was just to wallow in the fact, how stupid was I, that I got us on the wrong highway, and we're going in the wrong direction, and I wanted to pull the car over the side of the road and just bang my head against the steering wheel and go, you idiot, why, you know. That would have done nothing. Right. To help. It would have hurt more than anything.

Right. I didn't need to pull over the side of the road and bang my head. I needed to turn it around and get back on the right road. That's the difference between shame that leads us to condemnation and the kind of awareness of guilt that says, okay, I've got to turn it around and get back in the right direction. And Jesus is not standing there saying, pull over and live in shame for a while. He's saying, no, just get on the right road.

We don't have to do penance. Right. So, a mom who's had a bad day, a dad who's had a bad day, those who are caught up in the shame and the wallowing of this, the message from Jesus is, okay, I know, I know you messed up, turn it around, get back on the right road. You're still my child.

Yeah. I still love you. Well, it's interesting, Bob, as I was writing this, and I rewrote this whole story, and I've never written it out before. And as I was writing it, all of a sudden I asked Jesus this question as I was writing. I said, Lord, what did you see in that young 34-year-old that day? And I had this list of things. Here's what I wrote that I felt like it's from the Holy Spirit.

Look at these things, Ann, because Satan will never remind you of the good that happened that day. And so I said, one, you were present with your kids today. Two, you prayed before you got out of bed that God would help you be a good wife and mom.

Just a quick prayer. Three, you fed your kids and you fed yourself. So, let's count the little things. Four, you got yourself and everyone dressed.

Woohoo! Five, you put on makeup, and this is for Dave's benefit and to not, you know, just to help, and I'm going to celebrate that. Six, you packed lunches. Yeah. Seven, you drove your kids to school and you prayed out loud with them.

That's discipleship. Eight, you got a ton of work done and you played with Cody. Nine, you made dinner and played fun music as the boys played.

Ten, you helped with homework, and this is where the bad part sneaks in. But, eleven, you apologized to your kids, you asked for forgiveness, which is teaching conflict resolution skills. Twelve, you prayed and asked forgiveness from God out loud in front of your kids and asked him to help you display self-control as a fruit of the Spirit, which is discipleship. Thirteen, you kissed them goodnight, you laid your hand on them, you prayed for them. Fourteen, you cleaned up the house before going to bed. Fifteen, you read your Bible. Well, maybe only a few verses because you couldn't concentrate, but still. As I wrote that, I have never thought of the good things that happened that day.

Right. And I feel like Jesus was complimenting. Like, he was clapping for me like, good job, Ann. And he sees those little blips are mistakes. It's like, you confess them, you're going to make those, you'll continue to make those, but go to sleep and take those captive. One of the things I love about your book is that you invited your sons to read the book and offer their analysis of the principles in here.

So C.J. and Austin and Cody all chime in and say, here's what we remember about growing up in the home. At the end of that chapter, the mom guilt, C.J. makes a comment about the letters, you know, and it's really cute what he says. Here's what he says. It was never obvious when we were kids that mom was feeling guilt about her parenting at all. Isn't that amazing? That's a miracle, people. Because you were feeling it like it's the dominant theme.

Yes. He says, I have much more vivid memories of her being fun and happy than her ever being sad and frustrated. There was a difference between when she was mad at us for being bad and when she was mad from just being frustrated. During the times when she was frustrated, like when she kicked the hole in the wall, it didn't feel like she was taking anything out on us.

That just seemed like a crazy story we could tell dad and our friends. She was back to normal and fun the next day. And then he says, mom's letters, which you would often write after waking up at two in the morning, usually felt unneeded to me. She always just reiterated things that were obvious from interacting with her every day.

She was just saying what I already knew. Isn't that miraculous? Yeah.

And so what we think is going to send our kids to the therapist, some of them go, I don't even remember that story. Yes. Right? Dad, it's a reminder. God's got your kids. Yeah. He really does.

You can trust him. I hope a lot of our listeners have already preordered your book, No Perfect Parents. It releases next week and we're taking preorders now on our website at or you can call to preorder 1-800-FL today. I am really excited about this book and about the impact it's going to have in the lives of families and really generations to come.

This is a great investment in the next generation. The book is called No Perfect Parents. Ditch expectations, embrace reality and discover the one secret that will change your parenting. You can preorder your copy by going to or call to preorder 1-800-FL today is our number, 1-800-358-6329. That's 1-800-F as in family, L as in life and then the word today.

Get a copy of No Perfect Parents by Dave and Anne Wilson. We'll send it to you as soon as it's available to release. Now tomorrow we want to talk about hospitality, which is a priority. We're all told in the Bible to practice hospitality, but I know some of us think, yeah, that's just not who I am.

That's not my gift. Well, Morgan Tyree is going to join us tomorrow to say each one of us has a different hospitality personality and we'll try to figure out what yours is and how you can follow the biblical command to be hospitable. We'll talk about that tomorrow. Hope you can join us. I want to thank our engineer today, Keith Lynch. Got some extra help today from Bruce Goff and of course our entire broadcast production team. On behalf of our hosts, Dave and Anne Wilson, I'm Bob Lapine. We'll see you back next time for another edition of Family Life Today. Family Life Today is a production of Family Life of Little Rock, Arkansas, a crew ministry. Help for today, hope for tomorrow.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-12-04 02:32:28 / 2023-12-04 02:45:16 / 13

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