During last week a piece of paper came my way bearing the heading “Eternal Truths”; here’s a sample of its offerings:
* If it weren’t for stress I’d have no energy at all.
* I love cooking with wine. Sometimes I even put it in the food.
* Some days are a total waste of makeup.
* Do you believe in love at first sight or should I walk by you again.
* My idea of housework is to sweep the room with a glance.
* A conscience is something that hurts when all your other parts feel so good.
* If you look like your passport picture, then you probably need the trip.
* Dogs have owners. Cats have staff.
With the events happening around my family in the last couple of weeks I have contemplated life and found some other philosophical “Eternal Truths on Parental Love.” Maybe with your experience, you can improve on what’s ahead:
* A parent’s love gives a child the hope and energy to grow.
* A child’s heart requires their parents’ friendship and love as surely as their body requires food.
* A child wants their parents to notice the good things they do and to communicate affection and love.
* A parent’s love for a child is a basic requirement for the development of a healthy caring adult.
* A child can be likened to a flower. They open up when their parents’ love shines on them.
We need to keep in mind that love is more than a feeling, for there might be times when we don’t feel very loving towards our children. Love is a commitment to be with, to understand and to support the development of another human being – our child. Sometimes we can focus most of our parenting energy on correcting and disciplining our children.
Unfortunately, this focus can take over and the relationship and the rapport between parent and child can be lost. Consequently, when a child does not feel loved they are more likely to misbehave, so a negative cycle is set up.
Because loving children is a long term commitment, it might not return immediate rewards. Robert Louis Stevenson, besides delighting a previous generation with the likes of Treasure Island and Kidnapped, left us this thought:
“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds you plant”.”
If, perchance, you have not had a successful outcome in a relationship with a child, then Henry Ford, who was not a stranger to set-backs, might have the thought of encouragement you were looking for when he wrote,
“Failure is the opportunity to begin again more intelligently.”
Of course, Christian parents know that God is co-creator with them and that God’s Spirit is with them, as are the gifts of the Spirit. It can be comforting to know, that in a time of need, we can ask God to activate within us His gift of Understanding or Courage or Counsel or Wisdom to assist us to be loving parents to our children.
By the way, one other “Eternal Truth” reads like this,
“I know God won’t give me more than I can handle. I just wish he didn’t give me so much.”