Thursday, May 1, 2008

Sacred Parenting: Chapter 2: The Hardest Hurt of All

I'll start by saying that I didn't agree with every detail of this chapter, but because of Romans 5:3 (We also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.) and James 1:2-4 (Count it pure joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its' full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.) I couldn't disagree with his main point, which is, that even though nothing hurts more than seeing our children hurt, part of raising spiritually deep, loving, compassionate, selfless children is letting them face hard things. We certainly should not create these hard circumstances in their lives, but we should be careful of how much we intervene to prevent them.

Something I've been wanting to write about for a long time, not so much so you could read it, but more so that I could write it, was how I probably met fear for the first time when I had Braelyn. I was overwhelmed with such love and with that, came a choking fear just at the thought of something unspeakable happening to her. Feeling a little paralyzed by this feeling one night, I began to pray that nothing bad would ever happen to her. But I stopped in the middle of the thought, as I realized that that might be a small and selfish prayer. I didn't know what to pray. I just sat there, rocking my sweet baby, speechless, and torn and confused before God. On one hand, I would do anything to keep anything bad from happening to Braelyn, but on the other, I knew from my own life that it is the hard things that have grown me the most. I still pray that nothing unspeakable would happen to her, but I also pray that she would be a godly woman, and I know that means she will face trails of many kinds.

I love the story Thomas shares about his father. How when he was a child, he slept in the same bed with his siblings and how even the children had jobs whose income was vital to the family. I love what he writes:

"He had none of the advantages enjoyed by most kids today (my own included). But oh, for another thousand men of his character!"

After reading the chapter I thought about the woman I hope Braelyn becomes. Wise. Loving. Compassionate. Brave. Selfless. Humble. Thoughtful. Believer of God's Word. Faithful. Patient. Sets her mind on things above. I don't think you become those things by getting whatever you want, whenever you want.

This is a hard subject I think. It takes great wisdom and prayer to know when we as parents must intervene and when we should allow our children grow in character through struggle. Even now, I'm thinking, "does this apply to me and my 2 year old, or do I have a few years to think about this?"

Gosh, as I write my mind is just spinning and I have more and more to say. But I think I'll close with my favorite quotes. Hopefully, as we flush this out a little, my thoughts will solidify a bit.

My favorite quote, and one that will be added to my blog's list of quotes:
"Sunshine without rain is the recipe for a desert." ~ Arab Proverb

"Do not forsake eternal truths for temporal gain."

Said by a bedridden mother, whose children spent much of their time caring for her:
"I do not believe that pain is good. But when I look at my children, I think that my life has been good, and I would not wish away the parts that have been hard."


Steph said...

If you're not reading the book, let me put a a little "flesh and bone" to this subject. If a kid was bullying Braelyn at school, are we going to intervene?...You bet your breeches we are! If Braelyn is 11 and wants to redo her wardrobe with clothes that are too grown-up and too expensive, I HOPE, that Casey and I will have the spiritual maturity to point her to more worthy pursuits, even if that means she's not the most popular girl at school.

I feel like a lot of this is going to come down I truly believe that God's ways are better? I'm pretty sure that when it comes to your own hurting kids, it's easy for black and white to get cloudy.

annette said...

Steph, your book sounds wonderful. You mentioned you wanted to pray nothing bad would happen to her, I remember feeling that way many years ago as a much younger woman, when it dawned on me to pray protection over the loved one that way I would not be hindering spiritual growth. I plead the Blood of Jesus over people and ask the Lord to surround them w/ His holy angels as a hedge of protection. I also believe praying for people to be filled with God's wisdom is a form of protection, because we do not want them deceived. OK...sermon over...xxoo AFH

Ashlee Liddell said...

I think something that can be very valuable for the honesty and openness with your children as they age, and as these situations will no doubt present themselves, is to show your child the way the situations impact you.

For example; the clothes... sometimes it seems like parents get the decision right, but its delivery, and rigidity are all the kids often remember.
Why not allow your children to see that you not only understand how this might affect their popularity, and how lonely it might feel, etc.?

Maybe that was covered in the chapter, but I know that it is a step I notice missing often, and see the power it holds when it is present.

I hope that makes sense.

Steph said...

It does make a lot of sense, Ashlee...thanks! That's a great point. The author didn't address that so much, he tells you right off the bat that he's not going to get much into the "how to" of things...hopefully we can get into more of that you just did. Thanks a bunch!

One of the mottoes from the UoH Department of Human Development and Family studies: Rules without relationship equal rebellion. :)

The Kramer Family said...

Okay, I'm officially getting the book and jumping in. You've piqued my interest with various quotes from the book and I can totally see this being a useful time right now in my life!

I'll see if I can track it down today and catch up- I'm not a fast reader, but I'll try my best!


Steph said...

Lynsey...I'm so pumped that you're in! I am all smiles!

And Mrs. Annette...That is the perfect! Thanks so much, as always!