Those words may make it seem like the flaws are barely noticeable; minor. If that were the case, what an easy post this might be to read. But that’s not what I’m talking about. Instead, I’m here to talk about the phenomenon I’m calling baby flaws– the occurrence of when you have a baby and suddenly all of your flaws are exposed. Big, gaping flaws. Plank-out-of-your-eye flaws. You’re not submissive or patient or kind or loving flaws.
Having a baby changes everything. People say that, but those people never really expound on it. I guess “everything” is supposed to tell you that nothing will ever be the same. Life as you know it will cease to exist. But mostly, people talk about sleep deprivation and crazy schedules. Nobody mentions realizing how terrible you are. How hopelessly unprepared you are. How little time you and your spouse have for yourselves and your marriage at first. Nobody talks about the guilt and feelings of inadequacy. Frankly, I guess it might scare people away from having kids, and that wouldn’t be good, because having a kid changes everything. In a terrible, self-hating, inexpressible joy kind of way.
While I have realized I have some deep issues in the recesses of my heart, that isn’t a bad thing. Having these “baby flaws” brought to the surface is a necessary part of my sanctification. After all, my entire life is to be about purifying myself and becoming more like Christ. Until my daughter was born, I didn’t realize just how many ways I was not like Him at all. And so, having her here is helping me grow closer to Him. It’s a hard, long, tear-filled process, but it’s happening. Slowly, but surely.
I don’t always like it. Quite frankly, I’ve resisted the change some days. But then I look into this perfect little face and I think about God sacrificing His only begotten Son. The Son who, though He was 30 or so years older, was as perfect and innocent as my sweet little girl. God allowed that Son to be murdered for me so that I could taste redemption and see Him face to face one day. In no way, shape, or form do I deserve such a beautiful gift, and yet God granted it to me (and to all those who would obey His Son). He has given me so great a reminder of His great love in the little person I call my daughter. Her presence in my life exposes a lot of flaws, but that helps me grow. It forces me to become the person God expects me to be. And for that reason, she is my greatest gift.
It is hard to be a parent. It is hard to be patient and kind and loving all the time. It is hard to submit. It is hard to be polite. It is hard to be considerate of others when all you can think about is this little one in your arms. Yet I have been called to something higher. I have been called to love at all times; to behave as Christ at all times. In every role I am in – wife, daughter, sister, and now mother – I am to be Jesus to everyone around me. That. Is. Hard. But thanks be to God He gives us grace and wisdom and mercy and strength! I so desperately need it and He so bountifully supplies.
Baby flaws are no fun, but God is faithful and merciful and long suffering toward us. How thankful I am for the time He’s given me to repent of my worldly, destructive, devil-pleasing ways.