“These words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise (Deut. 6:6-7).”

As parents, we all make mistakes. My wife, Kathy, and I have made our fair share. We can recall times of improper discipline, impatience, and poor judgment that we hope God will erase from our kids’ memories. But even if they remember, we won’t despair.

As Scripture describes the day-in-and-day-out patterns of biblical parenting, we are blessed by the realization that our patterns are more critical than a particular mistake. Momentary errors will not wreck our children’s souls. Otherwise, conscientious parents could become paralyzed, fearing to do anything with the concern that something might ruin our children.

God’s grace not only pardons our sin, it provides the instruction that fallible parents need to establish home and life patterns that are more influential than any particular error resulting from temporary fatigue or an overwhelming day!

Our gracious Heavenly Father gives us second chances and long patterns to enable us to steer children in his ways! We may take an occasional wrong turn, but the road is long and forgiving. Praise God, and don’t give up on yourself or his map for the long journey of parenting.

Prayer: Father, I know that I make mistakes, but I thank you for always forgiving me in Christ. Please help me to trust your unconditional love and follow your patient plan as I raise children to know you.