Jump directly to the Content

Mercy for My Mistakes

Psalm 51
Mercy for My Mistakes

“Have mercy on me, O God, because of your unfailing love. Because of your great compassion, blot out the stain of my sins. (Psalm 51:1)

The folded laundry sat on their beds, mocking me, despite several requests to put it away. Wet sneakers littered the foyer I had spent the morning tidying, again. The lizard’s cage (“Oh please, Mom, let us have one!”) hadn’t been cleaned in more than two weeks. Everywhere I looked I saw defiance. And then I saw red.

“Boys! Get in here!” With that blaring call began my tirade, my litany of grievances. My wrath knew no bounds as I reprimanded my sons for indiscretions and missteps that happened weeks earlier, ending with the current state of affairs. When I finally came up for air, I glimpsed two frightened children, tears swelling in their eyes as they scurried off to “fix all the things they had done wrong.”

I wanted to feel vindicated. Instead I felt dreadful. I had lost my temper with the people I love the most, covering them in insults and mean-spirited words. I was overcome with shame and guilt.

While I know “we all fall short of God’s glorious standard” (Romans 3:23), my personal track record of unjustly dealing with my children can make me feel like a bad mother. Time and again, instead of seeking God’s compassionate example, coming alongside my children and teaching with wisdom, compassion, and encouragement, I instead attack.

Blessedly, while we are imperfect, we serve a perfect God. Our God hears our frequent cries for his mercy, and instead of building a case against us, he erases any record of our sins and makes us clean again. Instead of berating myself for being an ill-equipped mother, I am free to trust his divine plan and work on disciplining my children with compassion instead of contempt. Because God keeps no record of wrongdoing, neither should I—not against my children, or against myself.

Read more articles that highlight writing by Christian women at ChristianityToday.com/Women

Helen Coronato

Helen Coronato is a TCW regular contributor as well as a non-fiction author and a homeschooling mom of two boys. Check out her projects and connect at HelenCoronato.com.

Free CT Women Newsletter

Sign up for our Weekly newsletter: CT's weekly newsletter to help you make sense of how faith and family intersect with the world.

Challenges, Parenting; Child-rearing; Grace; Mercy; Parenting
Today's Christian Woman, May 11, 2016
Posted May 11, 2016

Read These Next


Join in the conversation on Facebook or Twitter

Follow Us

More Newsletters