Sunday, May 3, 2009

The Humbling Exercise that is Parenting

Every now and then I get a true glimpse of how humbling it is to be a parent, especially of growing children approaching adulthood. By this I mean:

~~ How quickly I become flustered and confused (at least internally) as to what direction to go in;

~~ The frequency of times that I apparently don’t know what I’m talking about;

~~ And the amount of times it appears to some others that I lose my patience when I feel I haven’t (but there has to be at least some truth to others’ perceptions).

Parenting--the lifespan of the whole process--I’m sure, is designed to be a character-growing journey. The very same things we got away with, and even those that plagued us, as adolescents, suddenly come back to haunt us. If we were clumsy, chances are our kids (or at least one of them) will be clumsy. They do have more than our looks, after all!

To me, parenting is more and more about the issue of selflessness. And when I’m feeling selfish and want time for myself, my parenting performance goes south, rapidly. At least these days I recognise it quickly for the most part, apologise, and then lift my attitude.

We can’t afford to relax too much in our parenting, can we? And once the process starts--with a delivery suite wail--it never really ceases (and we should pray that it wouldn’t). The irony is we all want time off; we all want to be recluses at times, sinking into ourselves and our own pursuits, or to at least have things our own way.

I’m sure that God has shown me more in my failings as a parent than in my successes and at least the humbling process means I am actually getting better at it.

And that’s one of the sharpest reminders. God is graceful. No matter how many times I get it slightly wrong (or even horribly wrong) God’s there to help me pick the moment up and get it back on track.

Thank God[1] (truly) for concept of ‘the apology.’

Copyright © 2009, S. J. Wickham. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.

[1] “Thank God,” the term is so often used blasphemously. The term “Oh my god” or “OMG” is a disgrace, especially when Christians use it. It grieves the Holy Spirit whenever it is said or written.

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