Parenting in Weakness: A 3-part Series


So, for the next 3 weeks, I’ve decided to post a series of 3 articles on Parenting. I’ve called it Parenting in Weakness, because that’s what I’m good at–weakness. I’m not a parenting guru. I’m often disappointed by my inconsistency. I often wish I was more structured, more creative, more ______________. But Jesus DOES speak to my heart in this parenting gig, and if I slow down long enough, I hear Him.

The truth is that Jesus is transforming weak people, because that’s all He has. And that’s what He’s good at. Here’s the first part in that Story:


It happened one day while I was changing sheets. I lifted the pillow and saw a pile of gold, shiny wrappers. My eyes followed the trail to the floor behind the headboard. More gold, shiny, EMPTY wrappers. Someone enjoyed a major bout of candy consumption in secret.

There’s a phrase we use in our house: if you’re doing something in secret, it probably means it’s wrong. I mean, not even “probably”, more like there’s a 99.9% chance that it’s wrong. My kids are just like yours (and we’re just like them, but that’s another story). They hide the things they don’t want other people to see.

I’ve prided myself on applying this little nugget of truth about human nature to my children’s lives. It’s true. Secrecy should raise a red flag. But something was gnawing at me last week. Just because they understand something is wrong doesn’t mean they’ll actually do something about it. Perhaps, unintentionally, I’d even heaped more guilt on their fragile hearts.

So, in a moment when I was quiet enough to hear the Spirit’s whisper, I tweaked my prized parenting philosophy to: if you’re doing something in secret, ask for help. If you’re hiding, SEEK. Because really, I want to be a safe place for my children to ask for help in temptation and even full blown sin, because that’s what Jesus offers me, nothing less. I don’t just want the alarm to go off and scream: that’s wrong! I wan’t them to have a helper in their time of need and right now, in this stage of their lives, I’m Jesus’ representative of grace, mercy, and help to them.

Sadly, the truth is that their sin inconveniences me, so I’m not always the safe place I long to be. I get angry with their repeated sin, but you probably don’t notice, because it’s in secret. And this is where we’re really in the same boat as our children. We need Jesus to enter into the secret places to show us that he’s better than a thousand pieces of candy or the control and ease I long for.


“It is important to tell at least from time to time the secret of who we truly and fully are . . . because otherwise we run the risk of losing track of who we truly and fully are and little by little come to accept instead the highly edited version which we put forth in hope that the world will find it more acceptable than the real thing.” –Frederick Buechner, Telling Secrets

Part 2: That’s Not Fair

Part 3: Know Your Kids

  • marcella

    Julie, this is excellent. Thank you :) My favorite line: “Perhaps, unintentionally, I’d even heaped more guilt on their fragile hearts.” I’d like to do some more thinking on that..

  • Julie Davis

    Marcella- Thanks for being such a faithful reader. Yes, you should do some more thinking on “that” and more writing! : )

  • Lauren ‘Viss’ Elban

    Julie, this is both convicting and a beacon of hope amidst the mess of toddlerhood and my heart’s responses. Thanks for writing, looking forward to the next 2 parts!

  • Julie Davis

    You’re welcome, Lauren. Hope you and the fam are doing well!