My oldest daughter struggles with spelling. Now, I'm a copy editor in real life. That means I spend every day fixing other people's grammar and spelling. To have a child who cannot spell is almost physically painful for me. I truly believe that spelling is something that you can either do or you can't. You can teach non-spellers to memorize the spelling of words, but they will never be able to sound out and spell unknown words correctly. My oldest daughter and my husband fall into this category.
The past couple weeks, my oldest daughter has come home with her spelling tests bearing the much sought after "100%, A+." This is a huge accomplishment for her -- perfection on her spelling test. We place these perfect tests in a place of honor on the refrigerator and commend our daughter mightily for them.
Perfection is often what we're all seeking. We want perfect bodies, perfect hair, to be the perfect mom and wife and to have perfect children. We spend time chasing things we don't really want because society tells us that's what it takes to be pretty, successful or loved.
Our kids chase perfection at school, in sports and with their friends. My youngest gets upset if she misses one question on a test. To her, it's as bad as failing.
This pursuit of perfection always leaves us wanting in the end. Because we're not perfect, and we will never be. We and our kids are on a quest for something we can't attain. And the quest can be damaging. It can take us down roads we never intended to walk.
The quest for a perfect body leads to eating disorders and low self-esteem. The quest for perfection in school leads to stressed out kids. The quest for perfection simply leads to many places that are far from perfect.
1 John 2:15 says "Do not love the world or anything in the world." Driving ourselves and our kids crazy in our quest for perfection means we're seeking after the things of the world. The only perfection that's worth seeking is the perfection found in Jesus. He was perfect. And He offers us His perfect love.
My friend Kristen Johnson offers up some great insight on the topic of perfection in her blog and how it keeps us from love. I encourage you to check it out.
Kristen is the mom of two boys, with a new little one on the way. She writes some great entries on being a mom. She's also an avid reader, so if you're looking for something new to read, you'll probably find something in her reviews and author interviews.
Take some time to pop on over to Kristen's blog today. Leave her a comment if you like what she has to say.
And, remember, God doesn't expect us to be perfect. He's not waiting to hang our perfect score on His heavenly refrigerator. God wants us to be a portrait of His love to others. That's the picture He'd be hanging on the fridge.