10/01/2015 04:41 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Parenting Through Principles and Perspective

"Mom, is that wrong?"

I weigh her question heavily on my heart, knowing full well that my answer will be her truth.

I think through exactly what I want to instill in her perspective, her vision of this new concept that revealed itself right before her innocent eyes.

In this moment, and countless others, she has come to me inquiring of things that the world produces and people portray with both confusion and a desperate ache for answers that beckons my guiding words...

She's at that age.


The fragile age where awareness opens all the blinding shades to her comfortable limited view. Windows are opening to the world and revealing new sites every day. She struggles to understand each scene, and comes to me for help in doing so.

My parenting role has shifted into a more profound position, as I am called to explain and examine what goes on beyond her boundaries. I am astounded at this profound realization of such a responsibility. Am I equipped to carry this new motherhood mission out? It is up to me to paint her canvas of the world, using our color scheme, drawing images to form a clear picture of how to interpret the expanding landscape she sees. Her growing peripheral vision has added many new views, and she looks to me to decipher them.

She's old enough to have a sense about it all, yet still naïve enough to honestly grapple with new-forming ideas and choices that are made despite her not living in the same condition. She yearns for understanding and seeks my answers as she wanders through the halls of inexperience, peeking into rooms where doors have opened, illuminating new complex issues. As she peers into each one, she immediately comes to me, unable to create an opinion because she has no reference point to gauge it.

I am sculpting her moral compass as we walk together down those corridors of awareness. It's the hardest path to escort her through...

And I pray I get it right.

Sometimes, she will hand me such difficult situations- so sweetly opening up her young innocent hands with a desperate need for me to take it and make it better, manageable, acceptable... right.

And I can't.

I know in my innermost being, that it is wrong. It is and always will be wrong to me. But more important than right or wrong, or good or bad will always be what covers all those claims.

I want my growing girl to have an open heart to go with those maturing open eyes. I desperately hope that above all else, she will look at this world and every single soul in it, with unconditional, unequivocal grace. When she disagrees with choices, perhaps is disgusted with views, or even insulted with behaviors people display... I want her to always respond with respect.

"Well honey, I believe it is wrong. But everyone makes their own decisions for their own reasons... So although I don't agree with what they are doing, I will still honor and respect them as we should."

As I delicately shape a new piece of her heart, I am intentional about where I place my opinions, and deliberate about how I explain them all. I will plant these seeds into the ground of our faith and apply Biblical virtues drenched in the merciful message of Christ. For my greatest goal in parenting this child while she discovers new territories through aging turns is to cultivate a spirit of gracious love.

I'm guessing that later in her years, she will surely decide on her own, what is right to her or wrong. She will be able to have a deeper understanding and construct a clearer more personal explanation for every opinion she owns. That's how it should be.

But oh, how I pray that every stance she takes is always carefully wrapped in respect, love, and grace, because Lord knows...

She will need it too.

The original version of this post was published at, where you can find more articles written by Christine Carter.