Spiritual Sundays: The Limits of Parents



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Editor’s Note:  The Power of Moms is a website for mothers of all religious preferences. Our Spiritual Sundays section is a place where our authors can write about thoughts that are more spiritual in nature, and our goal is to gather a wide variety of perspectives.  If you (or someone you know) has something to add to this section to help us reach a wider audience of mothers, please send the submission to submission@powerofmoms.com. Thank you!

This poem resonates in my spirit as I watch my children of varying ages. It also brings such comfort to parents–no matter your choice of school, devotional time, church participation, or parenting skills. Whatever you feel will make your children become what you dream, they still have the ultimate choice in the matter.

Many times, our idea of success in parenting can make our system seem “superior” as we would try to pass it on to others as the “right” method, but God is the only perfect parent.

God is in control, and He is at work in our children. No matter which leg of the parenting journey you are on, I hope this brings encouragement to all. My hope is that we can all release our inadequacies to the one who takes our weaknesses and makes us strong.

This is dedicated to the many hurting parents I know.  You are in my prayers. May we all support each other.

The Limits of Parents – John Mark Ministries

I gave you life, but I cannot live it for you.
I can teach you things, but I cannot make you learn.

I can give you directions, but I cannot be there to lead you.

I can allow you freedom, but I cannot account for it.

I can take you to church, but I cannot make you believe.

I can teach you right from wrong, but I cannot decide for you.

I can buy you a beautiful garment, but I cannot make you beautiful inside.

I can offer you advise, but cannot accept it for you.

I can give you love, but I cannot force it upon you.

I can teach you to share, but I cannot make you unselfish.

I can teach you to respect, but I cannot force you to show honor.

I can advise you about friends, but I cannot choose them for you.

I can advise you about sex, but I cannot keep you pure.

I can tell you the facts of life, but I cannot build your reputation.

I can tell you about drinking, but I cannot say no for you.

I can warn you about drugs, but I cannot prevent you from using them.

I can tell you about lofty goals, but I cannot achieve them for you.

I can teach you about kindness, but I cannot force you to be gracious.

I can warn you about sin, but I cannot make you moral.

I can love you as a child, but I cannot make you walk with God.

I can teach you about Jesus, but I cannot make Jesus your Lord.

I can tell you how to live, but I cannot give you eternal life.

QUESTION: How have you seen God’s hand manifest in your life as a mother?

CHALLENGE: Extend a helping hand to a struggling mother and offer encouragement and a listening ear.

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