Monday, January 9, 2012

The Responsibility of Raising Children

Raising children is hard. It’s a deep joy, an unending blessing, and a gift…but still hard.

The responsibility and weight that is on my shoulders never strays far from my mind. When something comes up, I have to look at the big picture. I can’t just look at today, or “now.” I can’t just wave away an issue as a “small deal” when I know that in the big scheme of things that “small deal” is not so small at all. It was a beginning. A change.  A win or a loss for their very souls, sometimes.

You can never take the easy way out when you are raising kids.  “Easy” at the time ends up to be heartache later on. “Easy” never wins. Intentional effort, time given, commitment, stamina, staying the course….those win.

Raising children is life changing. Nothing may ever quite humble you the same, like a child. Nothing may ever break your heart the same way a child can break your heart. Nothing may ever give you deeper joy – than your child.

As my children get older, I see the clock ticking away. I see the time and how it was so short. It IS so short. I see how the window is closing in on how I may influence them and mold them. And I see their own personalities, character qualities, and vision developing and taking hold of them. I see just how important and crucial every day is. How the words I use, the thoughts I process, the reactions I give, and the love I lavish on them, is affecting them. They are either stronger or weaker because of my direction and my choices as I’ve parented them.

When you first look down at that little baby, you think you will do anything for them. Then when that first hurdle comes into your life, it’s so tempting to give in and let it go. It’s “nothing” you think. They’ll overcome. They won’t be affected by it. They’ll turn out okay.

Life shows you differently. Not everyone turns out okay. Not everyone escapes unscathed.

No, you have to be intentional. Responsible. Visionary. Loving. Forgiving. Humble. And you have to learn when to let go. When to let go and when to hold on. Maybe one of the toughest lessons of all. When to say ‘yes’ and when to (more importantly) sometimes say ‘no.’

This is the world and the responsibility of a parent. Finding the strength to know how to play it right.   Easy? No, no one ever said parenting was easy. But if you invest your heart and stay the course even when it’s tough….it’s worth every second.

No, you can’t become a parent on a whim. It takes great strength. But out of strength comes beauty.



Linda said...

Once again I am challenged by your post.. I love the word intentional...

Dionna said...

:) Intentional IS such a great word, isn't it. It says so much.