ChristianParenting.org podcaster, lawyer, and mom Cynthia Yanof is bringing the Perfectly, Imperfect online event to parents everywhere on October 23rd and 24th. As the mother of two teenagers and a four-year-old, she knows that parents need to focus on the bigger picture to survive, and she’ll use humor and Scripture to help them get there. She’s trying to gather people together to speak honestly and tackle life through a Biblical standard.
As a trial lawyer who handled civil litigation over product liability, Yanof and her husband, who is also a lawyer, knew all about judges and juries, thanks to education at Baylor University and Texas Tech Law School. But she knew God was calling her to something different, even while she wrestled with the reality that she knew she wasn’t a perfect parent!
“You have to use humor,” Yanof explains. “No one feels like they have it all together. So we’re very intentional about laughing. My mom told me a long time ago, ‘Go ahead and laugh now if you think you’re going to laugh about it later.’”
A story about Sunday School highlights the lawyer-turned-podcaster’s story. Her youngest son, who can’t read or write, was sent to Sunday School. He emerged from the class victoriously, with a necklace just like the ones their other kids had made. The other children showed off the name Jesus spelled out in beads; her son’s spelled B-u-t-t. “Whether my children are doing great things or not, we laugh and trust that it will work out. God will equip me to do this even if culture tells me I can’t!”
The story of her youngest son’s inclusion in the Yanof household begins with foster care. Years ago, the Yanofs heard that if every church fostered one child, there wouldn’t be a need for the foster system. So, they assumed they would have thirty different kids in and out of their house, and they were intimidated by what foster children might do to their household. Four years later, the first foster child became their adopted child, “a gift to our family,” leaving Yanof to wonder what their family would be without fostering.
To listen to Yanof talk is to listen to a woman who is for every life, from the unborn fetus throughout every cycle of life. She wants to challenge her audience to treat people well, even if they disagree with those around them.
“When we say we’re pro-life, we’re saying we’re pro-birth,” Yanof proposes. “How are we treating people and teaching our children to treat people? We don’t have to always correct people; we just need to love them well. We can disagree agreeably and teach our children how by thinking about how we talk about the election, about foster care, about the person standing on the street corner. What we talk about Sunday at church, we have to live it out daily and not separate for our family what Sunday looks like versus Tuesday or Friday.”
Looking back, Yanof realizes that her parents raised her on Biblical principles, and as a kid she watched other people, too. Now, she’s realizing how important it is to pray for the people her kids interact with, from friends to teachers, to the youth pastor, to their boss.
“We all need to be teaching them bigger things.”
That’s why Perfectly, Imperfect is so important to her, as she gathers parents to help each other October 23rd and 24th. Tune in on ChristianParenting.org to get the help you need, and the community to help you love well.