by Adam Kronberger / Superintendent
The stage was set to fulfill every math teacher’s dream. The students were at their desk diligently taking notes. New and stimulating material was being clearly presented by the teacher. One of the most complex examples, which took up the entire whiteboard, was nearing its climactic finish. All that remained was the final answer, which would further establish the beauty of the new material.
But something was wrong. The expected final answer was not going to arrive on time. The calculations appeared to provide a messy and incorrect solution. The teacher took a step back and stared at the board, pretending to be in deep thought, simply reflecting on the beauty of the math example. But the teacher is in a panic. Something had gone wrong with their calculations. The teacher needed to not only find the mistake quickly, but also strategize how to fix it in front of the entire class.
Now the teacher can hear murmuring among the students. They have now sensed that something is wrong. Do they know there is a mistake? Do they know what the mistake is? Should the teacher ask the students for help, to hopefully point out the undiscovered mistake?
The life of a math instructor has taught me much about pride, humility, and grace. So has parenting. Much like teaching, parenting is often being on the stage taking the lead on working through a problem. And just as mistakes are occasionally present in my math lectures, mistakes are also present in my parenting. Yet these parenting mistakes can actually expand my parenting effectiveness. If I was a perfect person, much less a perfect parent, then it would have been unnecessary for Jesus Christ to die for my sins. My imperfections as a parent point to the grace of Jesus! As parenting is often focused on the imperfections of our children, our own imperfections provides common ground to celebrate the grace of Jesus in all of our lives.
Just as math problems have absolute correct answers, God’s law also provides an absolute benchmark. But that benchmark has no power in itself. It only provides the guidance and boundaries to define holy living, for both parents and children. But if we only focus on the rules, we are missing out on the power. The power comes through the grace, love, and transformation of a heart surrendered to Jesus Christ.
As a math teacher, I must admit more than I like that I do make mistakes in front of my students. Yet just like parenting, it is an opportunity for more learning and trust-building. As I openly troubleshoot the mistake in front of the students, I model the important process of self-awareness, humility, and responsibility. As I allow a student to highlight and fix an error, student confidence grows and often trust is built through teamwork. As a parent, trust and love increases when we openly discuss the need for transformation in my life as well as the lives of my children. Whether you are a math teacher, a parent, or a child, the grace and power of Jesus Christ is the answer to every problem.
– Adam Kronberger / Superintendent