We are all afraid of failure.
We manifest that fear differently depending on our personalities and circumstances, but no one enjoys the sinking feeling of disappointing yourself or someone else. And most of us, most of the time, dislike that feeling so much that we are actually afraid of it in a way that affects our thoughts and actions.
We’re also afraid, of course, of the ramifications of failure. Feeling bad that you let someone down is bad enough. What if you actually hurt them? What if you try as hard as you can to protect them and you just aren’t able to? Or if you make a poor choice of judgement that has devastating consequences?
Loving people, being part of a family and a group of friends, is scary and vulnerable! Husbands, co-workers, Christian brothers and sister, and – most intimidating of all – our children, need so much from us! Our lives are so interwoven that we rely on each other to maintain a healthy community. Any of us not using our talents and time for others is a disservice to the whole.
As Christians, we understand our handicaps apart from God, but we also know that we are able to do anything through Christ.
I think this leaves us sometimes feeling like because we are able to do all things, and because we should diligently seek to work hard as unto the Lord, that we are expected to do everything perfectly.
All the time. Without hesitation.
We expect that of ourselves. And sometimes we expect it of others.
And yet always, deep in our subconscious, there is an understanding of a truth that we hate to admit and that haunts us…
I’m going to fail.
Our fears of failure are legitimate because there is no way we could ever perfectly care for our marriage, our family, or ourselves.
The thing is though, if our loved ones think that we can give them everything they need, they are wrong. And if you think that you are supposed to give them everything, be their end all, protect them, nurture them, and love them perfectly, then you are wrong.
We just can’t be that for each other. You’ll never be enough for them!
The one and only person we can fully trust is our Creator.
We can trust that He has put us right where He wants us, with the responsibilities He wants us to have, and the gifts/talents/aptitudes we need to take care of them. And we can trust that He loves us and won’t let anything happen to us that is not meant for our good – even if it is painful in the moment.
That’s what our children and husbands need – not assurance of our perfect love, but His.
As my kid’s Jesus Storybook Bible says, He loves us with a…
“Never Stopping, Never Giving Up, Unbreakable, Always and Forever Love.”
Other people already know you aren’t perfect, and that will serve to act as a contrast when they try and imagine His perfection.
The more we mess up, the more they will yearn for someone better able to meet their needs. And since we know He matched us with our family intentionally, we can say boldly that the only person better for them than us, is Him.
He is enough for them.
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 1 Corinthians 12:9