Are you a parent? Tricky business, that. Not for the faint of heart, they say—that’s a classic understatement.
I’m a father of two sons, who thankfully have survived to be respectable, honorable adults, despite all the mistakes I made in trying to help get them there. But looking back on that journey, though sometimes painful, can also be really interesting.
With only a few minutes of thought, here are some of the traits I think are important to being a parent:
- Knowing when to let them fall down and skin their knee.
- Knowing when to let the child lose. Falsely giving a child the impression they can always be a winner by making sure everyone gets a soccer trophy is just setting them up for major problems later, when the truth of life smacks them in the face.
- Knowing when to hold back and let the child make a mistake. Cliché warning: we learn from our mistakes, hopefully.
- Knowing when to let the child get a bad grade in a class by not doing their homework for them. That is, knowing when to let the child learn about the consequences of their action, or inaction.
- Knowing when to keep your mouth shut.
- And the list goes on.
Few of us parents have all these skills, and the others I can’t think of. But there is one, the only one, who is the perfect parent.
Well, yah, sure … I mean God. But I now ask you to take a look at God with these questions in mind:
- Is life sometimes really hard for you?
- Do you wonder why some of your prayers go unanswered?
- Do you wonder why good people, even God-loving people, die young?
- Do you wonder, if there is a God, how can he allow all the evil and mayhem that’s consuming the world?
Maybe the answer is partly because God is the perfect parent. He knows when to hold back and not step into our lives, allowing us to make our own mistakes. He knows not to butt in where He’s not invited.
And why would He do this, anyway? Maybe because He’s hoping we will finally realize we just can’t handle this mortal life on our own, and the only way we can cope is to give up trying and turn to Him to help us … turn to Him to love us.
What do you think?