Reflections from the ER -- Mother's Day Thoughts on God's Mercy

"It is of the LORD'S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness."  (Lamentations 3:22-23)

It was the phone call that begins every parent's nightmare. 

"There's been an accident."

My daughter and her friends had left the house on a simple errand.  It was Mother's Day weekend.  A short time later the call came. 

As my husband and I rushed to the accident scene, all I could think was, I want to hold my daughter.  I want to see that she is all right.  I want to look into her eyes and the eyes of her friends and know that they are alive.

It was only God's mercy and biblical parenting that spared my daughter and her friends from serious injury.  What could have been a nightmare of magnitude proportions ended with a concussion, minor injuries and two smashed cars.

I had to pause and pray before I included the words "biblical parenting" in the same sentence with "God's mercy" in the paragraph above.  I feared that it might be sacreligious to include human effort in the same sentence with divine grace.  In the end, I left it there because biblical parenting and God's mercy truly are one and the same.  I know that it is only through God's mercy that we are able to parent biblically. Let me explain.

When I was a toddler, back in the days when car seats didn't exist and seatbelt use was optional, my parents and I were involved in an accident.  Sitting in the back seat unrestrained, I tumbled to the floorboard when the collision occurred.  Other than a few minor bruises and a terrible scare, I was fine. 

My father, however, was not.  He carried the horror of what could have happened to me with him for a long time.  The result was that he began enforcing seatbelt use for our family.  Typically a pushover, Dad's commitment to seatbelt use was ironclad.  The car did not move from the driveway until everyone was secured.  As children, we hated the new rule.  We whined.  We cried.  We cajoled.  We negotiated.  Sometimes we threw tantrums, but Dad was steadfast. 

Fast forward 18 years.  It was the night of the military ball, and I was a senior in high school.  As my escort and I prepared to leave, I did what I had been trained to do -- fasten my seatbelt.  I didn't think about the fact that it might wrinkle my gown, I just fastened by seatbelt.  Eighteen years of Dad's consistent parenting kicked in, and I did what he had trained me to do -- buckle my seatbelt.

That night could have ended in disaster too.  On the way to the ball, the young man with whom I was riding made an error in judgement, and we crashed into the back of a stopped car going 50 miles an hour.  Other than bruises from our seatbelts, he and I were fine.

Twenty-eight years later, my daughter and her friends were saved from serious injury because of my father's training.  The seatbelt lesson he had ingrained in me became one my husband and I passed on to our children.  This lesson had governed what happened in that car that night.  That and God's mercy.

Our family's seatbelt legacy is a small example of what consistent biblical parenting looks like. For most parents, setting the standards is not as difficult as enforcing them day in and day out. Taking the high road often makes us unpopular with our children, their friends, and even our friends. We get weary and sometimes wonder if it is really worth it. Sometimes our children seem determined to go their own way, totally disregarding and dismissing all that we try to teach them.

Faithful parent, I want to encourage you on this Mother's Day to press on.  Do not grow weary in doing good, for God's word promises that we will reap a harvest if we do not faint. Recognize that you cannot do it alone, and ask God to fill you with His strength. Your children's only hope is consistent biblical parenting.  And God's mercy.

 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. Pr 22:6

This post was shared on Bible Love Notes' Bless a Blogger Friday at

1 comment:

  1. Very good, Lori! I can't believe the similarities in our two experiences. I was also in an accident as a child when there were no such things as seat belts. And when seat belts starting being used, my father was a total advocate. His resolve came from his work environment where he'd seen seat belts save lives. But your point is so good about perseverance in parenting...not letting things go when they are worth enforcing. And perseverance in your own life...wearing that seat belt even when it messed up what you were wearing. Those are good examples of the kind of perseverance that leads to godliness.
    Thanks for sharing this on Bless a Blogger. I'm praying for a good week of writing/ministry/book sales for you and a good family week as well.
    Bless you, my friend,