Whether we like it or not, our children become a reflection of our success or failure. Whether consciously or subconsciously it doesn’t matter. Whether we purposefully do it or not, that too doesn’t matter. The fact of the matter is that no one holds us accountable to it, except ourselves. We do it to ourselves.
Others will say that children, whether as a child or an adult, are going to do what they want and regardless of how good our parenting is or is not, we should not gauge our success or failure as a parent on the child’s outcome in life.
But we still do.
Our love for our children doesn’t diminish or brighten based on their failure or success. It shouldn’t. Our discouragement or our encouragement will wane or swell according to their achievements or lack thereof. That’s natural.
What is it about that one child who makes mistake after mistake and is continuously getting our attention? Not because of the slip-up, but because our hearts are being painfully tugged at by our lack of succeeding in their area of failure. It’s like we want to go and help them so badly that we would like to make the decisions for them and let them enjoy the consequences of that success. We do it because we love them.
If you’re not a parent, you won’t quite get this.
It doesn’t matter if you have 5 or 50 children; the one that is failing the most will wring every ounce of love out of your heart for them more so much more than the one or ones that are succeeding. You don’t mean to do this; it just happens. It would seem that we would logically be giving our attention to the flourishing siblings. They deserve it.
But we don’t.
When you have a child that is out of whack with society, religion and family, as a parent you feel you’re out of whack with society, religion and family. You feel like a failure. You feel you have not done your best. And when that child doesn’t want to see you, talk to you or listen to your counsel, it’s even worse for you. They don’t understand or comprehend that. They don’t know how you weep and mourn for them to return to some semblance of normalcy.
Jesus understands all that. When he told about the prodigal son, the lost coin and the lost sheep, it gave hope to all parents who look into the mirror and say, “I’ve failed.” No, you’ve not failed, you’ve succeeded in loving. Jesus went after the lost son, coin and sheep because they needed his love and help. The others didn’t.
That is so cool.
So, parents, look in the mirror; wipe the film of depression and discouragement off. Get a Kleenex and dry the tears from your eyes and see the love in them. But also, look over your right should in the mirror and see who is standing right there with you with his hand on your left shoulder. He empathizes with you. He understands.
Ok, back to work.
That’s what I think about it.