“Nothing you do for children is ever wasted. They seem not to notice us, hovering, averting our eyes, and they seldom offer thanks, but what we do for them is never wasted.”
— Garrison Keillor
We are useless in people’s lives, in a positive and proactive way, if we remain hurt. We cannot be a positive impact if what resides within us is caustic and corrosive. These facts are important in any event, but so much more so when we are parents.
Parents have a crucial role in the emotional development of their children—that seems almost needless to say. Yet, so many parents recoil from within their hurt and they spew vitriol over their children, only to later regret it (though some never do). Perhaps all parents do this from time to time.
But overall, we must go beyond our hurt and resolve it or we will inevitably hurt others.
God honours us when we do our deeper work, being honest about how we have been hurt, so as to understand and empathise with ourselves. But God cannot honour us if we don’t put in the work.
If we expect that our efforts will make the difference we will be sadly mistaken, for our hurts will bubble up ultimately in an angry outburst or in a passive aggressive response.
We have to be honest with ourselves regarding our hurt, or we will hurt others.
When we have dealt with our hurt, and we continue to rally within our honesty regarding the impact of our hurts, we become more impervious to the damage that hurts generally cause. We become less vulnerable to being hurt.
Our children really do need us as safe and secure land masses of rest. Imagine the blessing implicit of the parent who provides safe home base—which is not just a physical place. It is just as much emotional.
Going beyond hurt, by digging deeply into it and wrestling with the results of it, is the greatest investment we can make for our children.
Our children don’t need to be spoiled rotten materially, but they do need the riches of our spiritual input.
They need to know that we are there to them, but we can’t be if we are hurt. The golden clue of being hurt is maladaptive emotional responses—anger, impatience, agitation, partiality.
We have to be honest with ourselves regarding our hurt, or we will hurt others. There is nothing surer. The greatest gift our children can have is us, their parents, as we provide reliable safe haven.
© 2013 S. J. Wickham.