There is no perfect formula for transforming a family.
The last year and a half has been a huge learning curve. We have slipped up, messed up, reevaluated and tried again more times than we can count. And we are learning to accept that that’s okay. In ministry as in any other area of life, you must correct your mistakes, learn from them, and strengthen those areas of weakness.
One of those areas is holding our parents accountable. It is not an easy task. Especially when you know that oftentimes holding them accountable is more of a punishment for their children than a learning experience for the parent.
If I do not give your children breakfast because you brought them after the cutoff time, will you even care that they will go to school hungry?
If I turn your child away because they have a fever and are clearly too sick to be at the daycare, will you find adequate care for the day or will you leave them home alone and locked inside your house?
If I suspend your children because I find out that you have lied to us yet again about being at work, will you stop lying? Or will the only result be the damage that is done to your child while they are not in our care?
Each day, each week, each month we are learning more and more. We are continually praying for wisdom and discernment.
We will find the learning tools that work best for each mom and we will work with them toward change. We will not let go of their hand as we continue together on this journey of raising their children.
Why? Because a very important aspect of Roots & Wings is empowering parents.
We say it over and over – we refuse to simply focus on the children and ignore the brokenness and pain of the parents.
We will not expect the worst from them and we will hold them accountable.
We will not belittle their struggles, but we will not allow those same struggles to justify or excuse their actions.
We will not run away from their pain, but we will listen patiently and stand with them as they face their hurt.
We will not define them by their parenting failures, but we will help them learn from those mistakes so they do not make them over and over again.
We will make sure they know that God loves them and forever point them towards Jesus. Especially when they lie, when they fight, when they fall, and when they fail their children.
We are learning every day that being in the business of preserving families is hard. It can be unpredictable and messy, and yes, sometimes it fails, but it is also beautifully redemptive and and oh-so-worth-it.