Reflecting at poignant times in life is a fundamental human trait. And as I reflect over my kids there’s always one indicator in at least two of them that I’ve caused delight in them—after their joy-filled interaction with me (i.e. when that occurs) they skip off; there’s a cute skip in their stride.
Now I’m sure this is probably a genetic predisposition or something the younger has modelled from the older—or something. But, the point is, in all kids—and in all people—there are indicators where we’ve caused joy to well-up from within them.
It’s a real buzz whenever we have this impact on people, certainly family.
And I note with a special delight that it’s not when I pander to these two that they instinctually skip away—it’s when there’s truly been something transformational take place in our rapport. These times I’m aware that God’s involved. Something deeply spiritual has taken place.
Taking a moment then to reflect on the behavioural markers that set our parenting apart in these ways, what speaks this transformational joy into our kids? Again, it is not about them getting their own way; hardly. These ways we just act as a conduit for God in our role as parents.
As parents, are we not a model for what God “looks” like? Entirely trustworthy and a beacon of light we should be, the vast majority of the time (for we’re not perfect like he is). And we find that when we do achieve this end, those “skipping” moments happen with a fairly decent regularity, though there are still the chastening times when things are tough, and the tough calls are made.
Parenting is not an easy role and hardly any of us received any formal training in it; we were thrown in at the deep end—up the creek without a paddle, so to speak.
But, it’s our love for our children that has us in headlong pursuit of a goal toward their actualisation; our kids set up for a lifetime of doing good works and enjoying these in an intrinsic happiness that we ourselves may not have even achieved.
And it’s a fighting for the truth that sets forth our love toward success. The truth always makes the difference in relationships. The truth in love.
Love presents its truth for consideration.
And there’s something of God in all of this—the gently streaming desire I mean. It’s a wish without a demand. This is parenting—overall, without specifics—at its best.
© 2010 S. J. Wickham.