SULLIVAN: My goal is to love my children as God loves me

By Candida Sullivan

As a parent, one of the most extraordinary things we can do is to love our children unconditionally and without expectations. I used to have a perfectionist mindset when it came to my children. I thought they were supposed to do and be a certain way before I could be proud of them. The truth is that I love them so much just for breathing. They don’t have to do anything to make me love them and be so incredibly grateful that God chose me to be their mom.

Jesus died for our sins and imperfections. If I could have been the perfect mom, or my kids could have been perfect, then He wouldn’t have had to die. We are all flawed. And I refuse to love others according to a balance sheet.

Yes, I love it when they win and accomplish their dreams. But I will sit with them when they fail and struggle and love them just as much. Failure is part of it, and I want my kids to know that it’s okay if they fail. Lord knows I have failed over and over. It takes us all a while to figure it out. Since I still don’t have it all figured out, it would be ridiculous for me to expect my children to know it all.

I pray for them and then leave it up to them and God. I don’t try to influence them one way or another. I don’t want to steal their dreams or cause them to waste their life; God gave their lives to them. I don’t want my children to chase my dreams, but I want them to pursue their own.

Whatever they choose to pursue, I hope it brings them peace, joy, and so much love. I hope they wake up every morning with gratitude in their hearts for the amazingly beautiful life they get to live. Win or lose, I am always in their corner cheering them on, and I will love them through it all. Every day I try to love them as God loves me.