Monday, January 2, 2023

The Bittersweet Purpose of Parenting

Monday, January 2, 2023

Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it.   Proverbs 22:6  


Children are like kites - The Bittersweet Purpose of Parenting 

Some years ago at a seminar for teachers, someone handed me this brief page describing the role of parents. Maybe you can identify with the writer in the bittersweet purpose of parenting.  The goal of parenting is to equip a child to fly alone with strength and purpose.  But to let them go seems to take away our purpose.   

Some years ago at a seminar for teachers, someone handed me this brief page describing the role of parents. Maybe you can identify with the writer in the sense of bittersweet triumph.

Children are like kites...
You spend a lifetime trying to get them off the ground. You run with them until you're both breathless they crash you add a longer tail - they hit the rooftop - you pluck them out of the spout. You patch and comfort - adjust and teach. You watch them lifted by the wind and assure them that some day they will fly! 

Finally, they are airborne. But they need more string and you keep letting it out - and with each twist of the ball of twine, there is a sadness that goes with the joy because the kite becomes more distant - and somehow you know that it won't be long before that beautiful creature will snap the lifeline that bound you together and soar as it was meant to soar- 

Free and alone!

As parents, we really do want our children to grow up strong and to be self sufficient. In fact, we do everything along the way during the growing up years to point them in that direction. We work at teaching them responsibility, how to take care of themselves, how to drive a car, and hopefully hold down a job.  We want all these things for them (and some days we want them to come faster!), but it is a bittersweet process in life. We watch our children grow and we bask in their accomplishments, but then there is a little pinch to the heart when we realize how they are growing up.  We wonder where the time went.  It seems like just yesterday we were changing diapers and tying shoes, and now they are graduating from high school.  

We have to have faith in God that He will fulfill His promise that when they are old they will not depart from all we have taught them.  It is our obligation and privilege as their parents to teach them all the great lessons of life.  The greatest lesson we will have the opportunity to share is the message of God, His mercy and His love.  These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart.  You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up.  You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead.  You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.  Deuteronomy 6:6-9

Make it a part of your life to incorporate these moments in your everyday life. Teach your children responsibility 

Yet those who wait for the LORD will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary. (Isaiah 40:31)

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