Shortly before our eldest son was born, a friend gave us some wisdom. I’m sure she has long forgotten this word to us but I’ve chewed on it and held it close to my heart in times of both joy and trial.
It was such a simple word. And yet so profound:
“He’s the right child for this family, and you are the right parents for him.”
At the time I nodded and thanked her for the words. But, really, they didn’t mean much to me.
But as we held that bundle of vulnerability in those precious first few days I felt the joy of knowing he was right for our family and we were the right parents for him. And as we delighted in first giggles, first steps, first words, first mischiefs, I cherished those words.
And then there have been moments of trial. Moments where I have not known what to do, what to say, how to love, how to be the parent that God wants me to be. And when I’ve floundered, when I’ve been at the end of my rope I’ve remembered those precious words, and held them. Tightly.
He’s right for our family and we’re right for him.
And I haven’t just applied those words to our first-born. If they were true for him, they’re true for all our kids.
When we’re pushed to the limits, when we don’t have a clue what we’re doing (and in my experience, this happens a lot in the parenting roller-coaster) we can rest assured that our kids are God-given gifts to us, given to us for a reason. Given to us to nurture, to encourage, to draw out what God has placed in them, and most importantly to love God and love others. And in turn they reveal what’s in us – our imperfection, our weakness, our frustration but also our strengths, our passion and our joy.
And if they’re given to us by God, he will give us all we need to parent them, if only we ask, seek and knock. Oh, how I need to remind myself of this.
And so although I know I’m not a perfect mother, and Rich isn’t a perfect father I know that we’re the right parents for the kids that we’ve so graciously been given.
How about you? Are you trying to be the perfect parent instead of the right parent?
posted by Anna