Yesterday we celebrated Mother’s day and next month we are going to turn right around and celebrate Father’s day.
Well, not for everyone. Some folks feel the shame of their children’s failings the sharpest on these days. Maybe it’s the competitive nature of humanity – always asking who’s the best at this and that. Always probing to find out whose kids made the highest grades in school, whose kids have the most friends, whose kids volunteer more and whose kids go on to university.
Sounds like a crazy carnival ride someone made up in their head.
But, it’s not. The pressures of competitive parenting are real. It makes no sense because much of the comparative measuring stick is comprised of elements beyond our control –
- genetics and
- the freewill choices of miniature (and some not so miniature) human beings in our care.
Don’t compare. Don’t let school award ceremonies turn your head or get you down. Don’t cry yourself to sleep because your children’s achievements are not what you dreamed they would be.
First, that’s just self-indulgent foolishness.
Secondly, if that stuff keeps you awake you need get your focus off yourself and learn from the parents who are going through some heavy-duty heartache with their kids. You may discover something about good parenting that you didn’t know before. For instance-
- Good parenting is all about perseverance.
- Its about believing in your kids when no one else does.
- It’s about loving your kids when they don’t have the courage to love them selves.
- It’s giving them room to make mistakes and even land flat on their face as they move towards what God wants them to be.
I’m certainly not the greatest parent in the world. But, I know the one who is-
God the Father.
Jesus revealed the Father’s heart in the parable of the prodigal son.
This father said good bye to his defiant son and watched him walk away. But, the father never gave up. Never stopped loving his son. Day after day, he stood on his porch in front of the whole neighborhood and waited until his son returned home.
I thought about that parable many times so many times when
- my own parenting world came crashing down,
- when other parents stepped away from me just a little bit so they would not “catch” whatever my family was going through.
Thinking about our heavenly Father
- patiently waiting
- for his wandering children
- to come home
gave me courage and hope.
My husband and I learned how to stand on the porch when there was nothing else we could do. We learned how to wait and long and pray.
And never, ever stop loving our kids.
No matter what.