Parenting: Where true love is tried in the fires of daily life.
Today I had the privilege of sharing my heart with a remarkable group of MOPS moms.
We opened a conversation on how to raise great communicators. This subject captivates me and continues to harness my will and push me to help not only myself, but anyone I can, because in the end, all we have in life are our relationships.
And, relationships take a great deal of love.
Love that forgives and forgets and forgoes and forbears and ultimately, risks everything.
Risk defined, “the possibility that something unpleasant or unwelcome will happen.”
Training our children in healthy communication skills and behavior patterns requires such risk. Because, basically, they are not going to receive it as love. They will often interpret it as “unpleasant” or “unwelcome.”
Heaven knows, who likes to go through anything unpleasant or unwelcome?
The most important thing we talked about this morning, I think, was the fact that “more is caught than taught.” As children, we absorb the atmosphere of the homes we are raised in. Psychologists call these our “families of origin.”
The Mirror of Self-Examination
Therefore, before we can even begin to train our children, we have to look into the MIRROR of SELF and examine how we are doing in the areas of communication and behavior. More than likely, we will parent like we’ve been parented.
Was “the silent treatment” your norm?
Did yelling and screaming fill your living room?
Was the fine art of conflict resolution passed down to you?
We asked the hard questions:
- What communication legacy are you carrying on?
- Does anything need to change, and if so, how can you implement that change?
- What role does God and faith and church play in the life of your current family?
- Are there any communication skills and behavior patterns that need to be completely “left behind?”
I had to leave behind my anger. My sarcasm.
Some shared they had to leave behind their anger, too.
It was such a great time. I saw eyes filled with love. The kind of love that desires to do better tomorrow.
The kind of love that wants to be a better parent.
The kind of love that hurts so deep that it leads to change.
The kind of true love that is tried in the fires of daily life.
Have you faced such a test? How did you overcome unhealthy communication skills and behavior patterns?
Would you share this with us? We all want to be better at this thing called love.
As you think about all of this, take a moment to enjoy these words by American Humorist, Erma Bombeck. She really understood the love it took to engage in parenting. I’m warning you though, you just might leak when you read it!
When the Good Lord was creating mothers, He was into His sixth day of “overtime” when the angel appeared and said. “You’re doing a lot of fiddling around on this one.”
And God said, “Have you read the specs on this order?” She has to be completely washable, but not plastic. Have 180 moveable parts…all replaceable. Run on black coffee and leftovers. Have a lap that disappears when she stands up. A kiss that can cure anything from a broken leg to a disappointed love affair. And six pairs of hands.”
The angel shook her head slowly and said. “Six pairs of hands…. no way.”
It’s not the hands that are causing me problems,” God remarked, “it’s the three pairs of eyes that mothers have to have.”
That’s on the standard model?” asked the angel. God nodded.
One pair that sees through closed doors when she asks, ‘What are you kids doing in there?’ when she already knows. Another here in the back of her head that sees what she shouldn’t but what she has to know, and of course the ones here in front that can look at a child when he goofs up and say. ‘I understand and I love you’ without so much as uttering a word.”
God,” said the angel touching his sleeve gently, “Get some rest tomorrow….”
I can’t,” said God, “I’m so close to creating something so close to myself. Already I have one who heals herself when she is sick…can feed a family of six on one pound of hamburger…and can get a nine year old to stand under a shower.”
The angel circled the model of a mother very slowly. “It’s too soft,” she sighed.
But tough!” said God excitedly. “You can’t imagine what this mother can do or endure.”
Can it think?”
Not only can it think, but it can reason and compromise,” said the Creator.
Finally, the angel bent over and ran her finger across the cheek.
There’s a leak,” she pronounced. “I told You that You were trying to put too much into this model.”
It’s not a leak,” said the Lord, “It’s a tear.”
What’s it for?”
It’s for joy, sadness, disappointment, pain, loneliness, and pride.”
You are a genius, ” said the angel.
Somberly, God said, “I didn’t put it there.”