The Understatement of Parenting
Just the other day I sat down (for the first time in a while) for some peace and quiet Bible Study. My son (11 months old was finally asleep) and my girls (5 and 6 years old) were happily playing together in their room. I could hear their giggles and sweet voices as they played “house” with one another.
“I am married to Brendon, and we have been together for 18 years.” Madison said to her sister. I laughed to myself, trying to focus on reading, although their little conversations were pretty funny.
Suddenly, the words “I am pregnant” fell out of her mouth with ease. As a parent my heart stopped. Innocently in their game it was no big deal, because thankfully, she was married. But I couldn’t help myself in thinking. . . what will those words feel like when I hear them in the future?
If you are anything like me, I tend to be the parent that over analyzes everything, the one that thinks of every single hypothetical situation, the one who plays out every scenario just so that I can be prepared. So I pondered this thought. What will it be like when my child tells me she is pregnant?
Will the circumstances be ideal; will she be happily married living a beautiful Christ filled life? What if she isn’t? What if she is young? What if she is not? What will my reaction as her parent be? If the circumstances aren’t great, am I going to add to the stress filled chaos by causing harsh grief? Or will I reflect my Lord and Savior in grace and love?
Granted my children are still practically babies and this whole entire hypothetical situation won’t be happening for years, I cannot help but think about my own parents when they heard my news at the tender age of 17. Whether it was their intention or not their reaction crushed me. Am I going to be willing to place my own daughter those terms and have her feel the same hurt that I felt? The answer is no.
This small conversation, stemming from a simple game of “house” that I wasn’t even a part of, put a completely new perspective in my view. No, my daughter is not pregnant but she IS growing up. And it is happening a lot quicker than even I anticipated. Which means that she is going to have a ton of decisions to make. Many of them tough ones. This only means that I too will have a choice each and every time as to how I am going to respond to my child. I can choose to respond in love, bringing forth grace and truth OR I can lose my mind react to my emotions and most likely push my child away when she may need me the most.
Parenting is hard is an understatement.
Anyone who is a parent completely understands that. However, as God’s chosen, we have something that not all people have. We have the word, the Holy Spirit, and love to show us how we are to accept the toughest terms and to walk alongside our children offering them the mercy they so desperately need.
Let us not forget we are chosen to raise these tiny humans. While we might fall short more times than we want to admit, Jesus is always there to help us and hold everything all together.
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