Permission to Fail

Failure is a part of life. We all do it from time to time and important lessons can be learned from failing. I get it! I don’t like to experience failure as much as the next person, but I can honestly say that through failure I have learned some incredible life lessons and my faith was strengthened.

Many parents are afraid for their kids to fail. I think most parents can say that we physically ache for our children when they fail. We don’t want them to make the same mistakes we did, we want them to be protected from the hurts we experienced. We feel badly for them when they fail. These are not bad things that we desire for our child, but we also need to leave room for our children to learn how to recover from a failure. We need them to experience God pulling them up from that failure. They need to be able to see the blessing on the other side of a failure and know that God is with them in failure.

Thereasa Winnett who is the founder of Teach One, Reach One says…

“Sometimes the best thing you can do for your children is to allow them to feel the pain of consequences from making poor or ungodly choices. Some children will learn the lessons God has asked you to teach them, not from your godly instruction but by experiencing the pain that comes with disobedience.”

When your child does stumble or experience failure, focus on teaching them how to dust themselves off and keep going.  The lesson is not always in the stumble or the failing, but in learning that making mistakes is not necessarily fatal. Your children need to learn God can help them get back on track with Him. They need to learn they can mourn a mistake or failure, then dry their tears and start over again. They need to learn how to analyze what happened, decide what they needed to learn from the experience and put it into practice. Those lessons are more powerful in many ways than learning bad choices cause pain and consequences.

Remember that none of us are perfect. God uses imperfect people to do incredible things. The Bible is full of heroes failing and being redeemed, forgiven and equipped by God. Do your best to equip your child to prevent failure, but remind them that they are capable of recovering and overcoming failure with God.

“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 of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:9-10