I’m not going to pretend that this parenting thing is easy.
That if you do all the right things, everything works out great.
Because people don’t work that way.
Relationships don’t work that way.
If you combine A+B, you don’t always get C.
That’s the way algebra works, not parenting.
Sometimes parenting means walking through some smelly, ugly stuff.
Sometimes you lie awake in bed, pleading with God to protect, to change, to stir the heart of your kid.
Sometimes you grieve for the child you once knew.
Or the relationship you once shared.
Because as much as we talk about fighting for the heart, and about pursuing a relationship with your kid, sometimes that relationship is one-sided.
You’re going to give and get nothing in return.
You’re going to love and not receive love back.
You’re going to hurt.
For some, it last for a season. a result of hormones and uncertainty.
For others, it last years.
But you fight for.
Not with your child.
You fight with prayer.
Asking Him to pursue your child as much as He pursued you.
You fight by holding tight to God’s Word, the Bible.
You fight with truth.
Remind them who they are.
Who God made them to be.
You ask God to reveal what is the wound at the heart of it all.
Apologize for it if needed.
It may hurt, because treating a wound can be painful.
Sometimes I read articles and blogs and I think, “You just don’t get it.
You make parenting sound so easy, but it’s not.”
Parenting isn’t physically exhausting as your child gets older.
But it sure is emotionally.
There are all kinds of emotions.
And sometimes all of that is in the course of one exchange when they walk in the door.
It’s learning to let go, and hold on.
And not sure which is which.
Parenting means that sometimes you’re left with wounds from your child.
Wounds that cut deep.
But they’re still your child.
Even if sometimes it’s hard to see through all the junk to who they really are.
Being a dad has given me perspective to the Father heart of God.
How He loves us, even when we hurt Him. Reject Him.
Why? Because we’re His.
Parenting isn’t always filled with shiny, happy people holding hands.
It’s not formulaic, always resulting in the ideal result.
But I’m not sure that it was ever meant to be that way because the reality reminds us that we can’t do this alone, that we need a God who is bigger than us.
And He is the God who loves both child and parent beyond our comprehension.