Healthy Stepparenting #6: When You Fail, Don’t Give Up

As a stepparent, it’s inevitable we will fail. We may respond in anger or impatience, we may mistreat those around us, we may act out selfishly or greedily, or we may simply stepparent “our way” instead of “God’s way.” However, if we choose to keep trying when we fail, we haven’t truly failed.

H. Stanley Judd offers a great reminder on failure: “Don’t waste energy trying to cover up failure. Learn from your failures and go on to the next challenge. It’s okay to fail. If you’re not failing, you’re not growing.”

The book of Genesis is an ongoing account of human failure. It begins with Adam and Eve’s disobedience and failure to trust God and His plan. Their son, Cain, fails to offer an appropriate sacrifice to God, which leads to murder of his brother, Abel. Noah demonstrates failure with his three sons by lying in a drunken stupor one night and exposing himself to one son, Ham, and then later reacting in a way that leads to disharmony among the sons. Abraham fails to lead his family properly on more than one occasion, using deception and dishonesty to get his way.

These illustrations are within the first twelve chapters of the Bible! We could go on and on, finding ways God’s people failed. But the encouraging part is that with every record of failure, God responded with mercy and grace. He knows we are going to fail, and wants to help us. However, we must be willing to admit our failures and look to Him for guidance.

It takes courage to keep trying when we fail. It takes humility to admit when we’re wrong. But sometimes the greatest growth in relationships comes from recognizing our weaknesses, admitting our failures, and striving to make changes in the future.

“Failure is not falling down but refusing to get up.” Chinese Proverb

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