I can completely relate to a recent blog post by a friend. The post starts off talking about charity, what it is and how we are suppose to emulate it in our lives. Then he discusses his own experience in parenting, the kind of experience that all parents experience and wish they hadn't.
The Desire to be Christ-like but the Reality of our Imperfections:
Imperfections are the most frustrating when they impact the ones we love the most. The adversary would have us torture ourselves in negative feelings about our self-worth, capacity to overcome our weaknesses, and our commitment to following the Savior. My children are well aware of my imperfections and as a result they learn by my example how to say your sorry when you've done something wrong, how to show an increase in love when you've hurt someone, and how to accept and apply the atonement through the repentance process. It would be great if we were all perfect but then whose plan would we be following?
In Heavenly Father's plan we are all imperfect and are striving to become more like the Savior, who is perfect. When we make a wrong choice, and we all do, then we appropriately feel bad about what we have done. It is then that we make the decision to repent, to make the wrong right if we can, and to do what we can to not repeat the wrong doing. When it comes to parenting, I often make the same mistakes (impatience, quick to anger, selfishness, etc.). Each time I feel bad about my behavior, I do what I can to make things right and I seek for the Lord to help me to make the changes I need to overcome those imperfections.
In the process the adversary tries to do the following: He tries to minimize the wrong encouraging me to rationalize that I do not need to repent for the wrong doing (i.e. "I would not have harshly yelled at my child if they were obeying me!"). He also tries to encourage me to feel that I am not a good parent (wife, friend, person, etc.) because of my imperfections. In addition he will make me feel that the wrong I have done is catastrophic and that I am not worthy of the atonement (to receive this blessing or any blessings).
In one of the lessons taught today at church the statement was made:
"Opposition, criticism, and antagonism are companions to the truth. Whenever the truth with regard to the purpose and destiny of man is revealed, there will always be a force to oppose it. Beginning with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, down to the ministry of Christ, and on down to our day, there has always been and will ever be an effort to deceive, derail, oppose, and frustrate the plan of life."
Families are an essential part of Heavenly Father's plan. As parents we will feel the opposition striving to derail us from our sacred responsibilities and from the blessings that are available to each one of us as we strive to follow God's plan. Our children, sooner or later, will discover that we, as their parents, are not perfect and that they too are not perfect. With that knowledge and our examples they can learn to overcome their imperfections, to be tolerant of others and to love one another as Jesus has loved each one of us even with our imperfections.