Last year, as Little K was in 2nd grade and getting red marks (or lack thereof) on his papers telling how smart he is, I noticed that I came to expect him to get nothing wrong. To be perpetually perfect.
Now, this isn't something I said out loud, and quite frankly his actual "grades" don't yet matter, as long as he's learning right?? But I began to see myself expect perfection. This hit me the first time he didn't get all his spelling words right...I expected perfection.
As a parent I should expect his best efforts and challenge him to do his best in all things...but I really expected him to be capable of perfection every time. Is this wrong?
I wrestled with this for awhile, trying to decide if I liked that I expected perfection or if I shouldn't.
I expected perfection.
But God commands us, "Be perfect because I am perfect." (Matthew 5:48)
Hmmm. What to do with that?
So what do I do in the gap between "be perfect" and my guaranteed inability to reach that standard this side of Heaven.
God never sells the vision for my life short. I never sell the vision for Little K's life short, we practice and learn 10 words and I push him to learn 2 bonus words too. I know he's capable of more so I push him to this standard.
This is where God has brought me...the standard is perfection, this standard never changes...it's what I do with grace when the standard isn't met. Ah yes. That's the secret, God's standard IS perfection but when we don't live up to perfect, He is gracious. He is not condemning or shaming or guilt inducing.
So the standard for Little K is perfection, 10/10, 100%...but when he doesn't meet that standard can I respond with grace and encouragement and love. That's what God does every day toward me.
I don't deserve it.
God's standard for me is holiness and perfection, God doesn't say 7/10 is ok, he is just gracious with me when I come in under the standard. Therefore I wasn't wrong in my standard for Little K being perfect, I was only wrong if I were to shame or reticule him for not being perfect.
Interesting because wouldn't we all just go for less than perfect if that wasn't the standard. I guess I agree that God is pretty smart and all knowing and stuff because He knows human nature and it would be in us to just strive to hit the mark not exceed it.
So the bar is high.
The standard is perfection...I love when God teaches me truth through simple everyday things like my 2nd graders spelling tests.
Thank you for expecting perfection and giving me the example of Jesus to strive to be like. To be holy and blameless and perfect. Thank you Jesus for grace when I don't measure up to the standard set before me.