Have you ever had a preconceived idea about something? You know, like how your dream job would turn out, how your first house would look, or what parenting would be like? I don’t know about you, but that parenting one threw me for a loop! It’s hard to live in this world and not get ideas about how things should be, how we hope they will be and imagine how they’ll turn out. Preconceived ideas about parenting, however, seem to throw all concepts of reality under the bus. I love my kids, but at one time or another I’ve thought about selling them, trading them and shipping them off in crates…don’t judge to harshly, I know some of you have felt the same! At least I didn’t say throttle them, then the hate mail would really pour in. You show me a parent that hasn’t had those thoughts at some point and I’ll show you a person with too easy access to Valium!
I guess we think that having kids will be this magical, wonderful, exciting adventure…and a lot of the time it is. We get these ideas in our heads that our kid will be a future president, the doctor to cure cancer, the head of industry, the next Rockefeller, or maybe the next Joe Namath. But what about our kids who can’t pass Coloring in high school? Who couldn’t find their way out of corner with a flashlight and a compass? Who couldn’t catch a ball with a soccer net? What about the ones who wouldn’t be motivated enough to get out of bed if the house were on fire? I’m not being mean here, but not all of our kids are Mensa candidates or the next pro players–and let’s be honest, some lack the common sense God gave a carrot. Does that mean we love them less? Of course not. Does that mean that since they won’t live up to our expectations that their futures are hopeless? Of course not. Does it mean that we have to accept all of their (seemingly) idiotic choices? Definitely not.
See, we may not accept or even like their choices and paths, but we should tolerate them (the choices and the kids) because we love our children. I said should, because, come on–as parents we’re going to be harder on our kids than the average person they’ll meet….because we want better for them. We also need to practice that incredibly hard tolerance because it isn’t our life! They aren’t mini-me robots put on this earth to do as we program them to do (although, wouldn’t that be nice now and then?). Our children will make their own choices, find their own paths and hopefully deal with the consequences included with those choices. That’s what life is about, choices. We hope they’ll make the right ones, but chances are they won’t some (maybe a lot) of the time. We still love our kids. We’ll still be there to offer a hand when they get in too deep. We’ll still be proud to call them our children.
These thoughts apply to believers and non-believers alike, but I bet it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out they also apply to how God views us, his children! Let’s try to make choices that make it easier for our Father (and fathers) to be proud of us.
“Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord.” Eph 5:8-10
Happy Birthday, son!