Am I a Bad Christian Because My Kids Drive Me Crazy?

If you are anything like me, your kids can drive you crazy. That doesn’t make us bad parents or bad Christians. Maybe you’ve had a situation like this:

It’s 5 pm. You’ve had a long day with your kids. The smell of garlic and onions sauteing is wafting from the stove. Your spouse is zoned out, scrolling on the couch. You pop your earbuds in to listen to a podcast you have been looking forward to all day.

Sigh… breathe… finally.

Then, just as the intro music comes on, you see little hands reaching into the fridge.

“Not now, I’m making dinner.”

Then, another little hand in the fruit bowl.

“Not now, dinner is cooking!”

Next, someone is sneaking into the pantry.


Ugh, you get it! They’re hungry. You are, too, and that’s why you have been sneaking little bites of the carrots you’re chopping.

But they are not blind. They see you cooking. They know the drill. It’s the same thing almost every evening. It drives you crazy!

Are You a Bad Christian Because Your Kids Drive You Crazy?

Why can’t you control your crazy? You love your kids. You even like your kids!

Why do they get to you so badly sometimes? Are you a bad Christian because your kids drive you crazy?

No way! Your kids drive you crazy because you love them. It is those closest to you that impact you the most, for the better and worse.

In her book Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life, Tish Harrison Warren writes, “The struggle to ‘love thy neighbor’ is most often tested in my home, with my husband and my kids, when I’m tired, fearful, discouraged, off my game, or just want to be left alone.”

A loving and intentional God created you to have limits. To have feelings. To need rest.

You were also created to have a sense of humor and grace. Grace for yourself and others. But, even as a Christian, you will fail, you will mess up, and you will lose it. And that’s okay!

God Had His Patience Tested and Tried, Too

You know your children are a gift from God and a blessing. But when your patience is wearing thin, do you ever want to look for the gift receipt or get curious if there is an exchange policy?

God understands what it is like to have children that try your patience. God is patient and kind, yet in Psalm 95:9-10 (NLT), God said about the Israelites, “Your ancestors tested and tried my patience, even though they saw everything I did. For forty years, I was angry with them.”

For forty years, God was angry with them. That’s a long time. But, even in his anger, he never left them. He didn’t abandon them. He didn’t stop loving them.

And you don’t either! Even in the crazy, you love and adore your children. You would give up anything for them, including your sanity.

“Don’t You Understand Yet?”

Jesus spent much of his time with his teenage disciples. He dealt with their forgetfulness, jealousy, fights, greed, obliviousness, and worse.

For example, in Mark 8:1-10, Jesus feeds four thousand men, plus women and children, with seven loaves of bread and a few small fish. There are even leftovers.

By verse 14, the disciples are on a boat with only one loaf of bread and are worried about eating.

Jesus says, “Why are you arguing about having no bread? Do you know or understand even yet? Are your hearts too hard to take it in? ‘You have eyes—can’t you see? You have ears—can’t you hear? Don’t you remember anything at all? When I fed the 5,000 with five loaves of bread, how many baskets of leftovers did you pick up afterward?”

“Twelve,” they said.

“And when I fed the 4,000 with seven loaves, how many large baskets of leftovers did you pick up?”

“Seven,” they said.

“Don’t you understand yet?” he asked them.” (Mark 8:17-21)

I can imagine Jesus feeling a little crazy by their behavior. Can’t you?

Jesus understands your feelings, and he created your limitations. You are weak so that his strength may be seen in you. You are lacking so that you can trust in him.

Your kids driving you crazy is a beautiful opportunity to seek God and remember all that he has already done.

5 Tips to Practice Patience When You Feel Crazy

Alright, you know the crazy is going to come. So, what can you do?

When you feel the crazy welling up inside of you, remember these 5 Ps:

  • Take a moment and a few deep breaths.
  • Ask God for patience, wisdom, and creativity.
  • What messages, wisdom, or skills do you want your children to hear or learn in this situation?
  • How can you best share that message, wisdom, or skill?
  • Bring some lighthearted playfulness to the moment. It will help you to be calm, decrease power struggles, and increase connection.

Bonus Tip: When you mess up, say a prayer and then repair. You are going to mess up. It is an unavoidable part of the parenting journey. But by doing it over and repairing it with your child, you are setting yourself, your brain and your child up to do it better next time!

When all else fails, dance it out with your kids like God does with us in Zephaniah 3:17:

“For the Lord your God is living among you.

He is a mighty savior.

He will take delight in you with gladness.

With his love, he will calm all your fears.

He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.”

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