Children are super resilient. Yet for all of their ability to ‘bounce back’ easily from wounds, they are still human.
My children would tell you themselves that there have been many times that I’ve severely wounded them. Times when I was less than ‘Christ-like’. Times when, unfortunately & apologetically on my part, I have to say I have been downright unkind.
I hate to admit it. I will not dwell on it either. However, truth be told there is great freedom when we can share our past in the hopes that others will be inspired to learn from it.
When I was pregnant with my eldest child I was extremely naïve. Is every new mother guilty of this??
I thought that our fondest moments would consist of frolicking in the park, ice creams after church, and of course linking arms and skipping down the street. Not that we haven’t shared some of these moments! We indeed have.
However, many times since his birth…I’ve found myself…at the end of a long & exhausting day…saying, “Why in the world did I act like that? Why did I have to use such harsh words? Why wasn’t I more patient?”
As more children came along the naivety faded…the truth became clearer. I was not, in fact, going to be a perfect parent. Not at all. Nor was I going to have perfect children…
I am sure many parents reading this, can attest to the fact: that there is a GREAT WIDE chasm that exists between the ideal…
“that AMAZING, not usually attainable expectation we have about our parenting experience”…
And the reality of our lives.
The reality sometimes stinks!!!
The reality is that…
…sometimes kids will talk back.
…sometimes your children will not get along. More than likely siblings will have times when they will act less than ‘lovely’ towards one another.
…sometimes your little darlings will make a scene in a public place.
…sometimes your gifts of joy will have a temper tantrum…and of all places it might be at church, during a hush-hush moment no doubt!
And in response…
You may find yourself acting less than ‘ideal’ towards your children.
You may, hopefully only on occasion, find yourself acting like some sort of monster and have to look in the mirror and ask yourself: am I really cut out for this? Who was that person??!
You may find yourself apologizing time after time to your children. Apologizing for wrong expectations. Wrong assumptions. Wrong words. Wrong tone.
Lack of patience. Lack of mercy. Lack of love.
Anyone else ever been there?
I know I have.
It is not something I am proud of.
I do believe the great chasm can be breached…
By a word of prayer.
By an act of kindness.
By our loving example.
By our perseverance.
By laying down our unrealistic expectations.
By laying down any unhealthy anger.
By creating new expectations and coupling them with our faith in Christ.
By learning new strategies and employing them.
By obtaining a vision for our children’s lives that goes beyond the superficial, and instead focuses on their character.
By not giving up when things get tough!
Psalm 127:3 (CEV) "Children are a blessing
and a gift from the Lord."