Sunday, August 2, 2009

What Am I Learning from my Children?

It seems like a reasonable enough question, doesn’t it? I guess some might disagree, thinking that it’s only children that learn from adults, but I don’t think that’s true at all. We learn (or should learn) from our children all the time.

There’s a godly purpose in our parenting. It’s about seeing ourselves and our parentally-bound results in and through our kids. It’s on this basis we stand to learn a lot. It’s on this basis that our kids reflect back to us (without saying a word) what type of person we really are--to that moment in the life of our journey on this planet.

For example, when we come home from work, tired and irritable perhaps, we enter a world devoid of any knowledge of the environment we’ve immediately come from. As we approach home we prepare ourselves for the pressure in our lives to increase--we must now become “dad” or “mum” again.

As we park the car and unlock the front door and step through the door, we’re hit with a fresh reality. Time’s on again. We’re on-duty and we must perform. But, we’re tired. We become harangued by our child or children and then, in a weak moment, because we sense a need for our own space, we let fly with some little angry comment, or worse, an outburst. Our spouse, like the children, is somewhat shocked and dismayed.

Oh dear! Not a good situation to find ourselves in. But it’s a situation that many a parent has experienced, and may continue to experience.

It’s not all bad. There are times when our children reflect something back to us that we’ve done right. Like, when we take them to the park on a lovely sunny day and we share in their transitory joy. For these moments, our kids are just that--kids.

The overall issue here is one based in learning a simple fact. Our children are showing us how to mature. They’re providing us feedback, or better put, God’s putting the mirror before us through our children.

Our interactions--all of them; not the least of which those with our children--give us feedback toward learning opportunities at becoming adultly mature. It’s a process of maturation lasting a lifetime. We never truly get there this side of eternity, but we must not stop striving for the means to it.

These are issues of real generational blessing or cursing. It’s only mature outcomes that bring blessing into our children’s (and others’) lives.

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