A sense of belonging, by Chelene Salzwedel
“MOMMY! I need a plaster!” …words every parent is familiar with…
I don’t know about you, but I married a man whose heart crumbles when his little princesses come to him with an eina… His grasp on reality takes a while to recover once his emotions turn to mush – then the ointment and plasters come out, and the kissies make it all better.
It’s beautiful to watch the daddy/daughter relationship unfold, and at times it can feel as though he’ll always be there to protect them, fight for them and defend them. But the truth is that there is a dimension that exists which is beyond our control – it’s called time. The stuff that happens in their lives is mostly beyond our ability to predict and that thought makes me super uncomfortable!
The days when the words, “Don’t climb so high my baby, you’re gonna fall!” will prevent them experiencing pain, are fast fading into memory – they won’t always want us to warn them, or even hear us when we do, and they may not even believe we’ve been there before!
Their worldview is being shaped by their experiences, and we often come to a place of questioning whether we’ve done a good enough job to prepare them for their lives! It can be a challenge to force our thoughts past our fears and still parent hard – even when it seems to not be making a difference.
So, HOW do we do that?
We love them hard!
To love any human being, for an extended period of time, is a miracle! It proves that there is something other-worldly inside of us. Jesus shows us how to love when it’s toughest, and if we admit it, we’re all a little tough to love at times! The love that a parent has for a child is one of the ways that God shows us how it’s possible to stick at it.
We love them wisely…
One of the best ways that help us do this is by us loving Jesus wholeheartedly ourselves. What we model to our kids is what they pick up as their own behaviour. No child can learn to choose well when the people they look up to most are not making wise choices themselves. This is not to say we don’t all make mistakes, but rather that we always aim to look like the best example.
1 John 4:19:“ We love each other because he loved us first.”
From little ones to adults, they will always be our kids.
Here’s to the journey of learning to love well!