How sure are you that raising children in the discipline and instruction of the Lord will guarantee a smooth ride and smiley, obedient children?
"Return faithless Israel, declares the Lord.
I will not look on you in anger,
for I am merciful, declares the Lord.
I will not be angry forever."
"Return, O faithless sons;
I will heal your faithlessness."
Jeremiah 3:12, 22
I've spent years consuming a truckload of parenting methods that promise success if followed perfectly. When I failed at one I picked up another, looking for the one that would fix us. I've spent most of my life as a parent vacillating between self-righteous pride when my kids performed or self-defeating humiliation when they didn't. I want to be done with that.
The children of Israel were dismal failures when it came to making their Parent look good. And He could have wiped them off the face of the earth--and threatened to do so at least once. But they had a Father Who was "merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness" (Psalm 103:8). I'm so glad He's my Daddy, too. And what's more, I'm glad that He set the example in parenting: an example that displayed redemption rather than self-attained perfection.