As the youngest of five children, my family of origin had its struggles. My parents divorced due to infidelity. My dad was an alcoholic and my mom often worked two jobs to keep food on the table and a roof over our heads. We didn’t think ahead, couldn’t afford to. Once we had groceries for a few days and a house payment covered for a month, we had a skip in our step that could be recognized a mile a way. “Phew, we made it another month.” It was always close. Tough as it was, we now laugh at our many close calls, crazy stories, and dangerous cars that would be “environmentally hazardous” today. God had to keep em’ running, no other way.
Parenting isn’t for the faint at heart. While we want to create a perfect world for our families, often things don’t according to plan. A few years back, we were in a particularly difficult time with one of our teens. We had reached a defining moment. (That story is in a different blog.) We invited over a couple who were close friends as well as wise Christians. We needed advice and they had come to listen and lend support. We talked, I cried, they listened, we spoke of our problems, they nodded along. Seemed hours went by as we shared our woes with our wise friends. When it was their turn to talk we had out pen and paper. We knew they had many words of wisdom, and we were waiting desperately to hear what they would recommend.
The husband looked at me, and with soft spoken words and kind eyes said something I’ll never forget. “Beth, do you want to know why she does those things she shouldn’t do?” I leaned in, almost leapt out of my chair so eager to hear. “Yes, yes, why?” I couldn’t speak fast enough.
“Because she can.” That was it. No sermon. No “do this” or “try that.” Three words. Hush fell over the room and momentarily even I was speechless.
“Oh my goodness, you are right.” It was that simple. I’d listened to many “experts” and read all the right books. Prayed on my knees and in groups. My husband and I sought wise council. And my sweet friend who knew us all intimately, summed it up in three words. He could not have been more timely.
Parenting is the most rewarding job and at the same time the most challenging. It requires mental tenacity and tender encouragement. It also requires facing simple realities that can sometimes be the answer you’ve been looking for. Thank God for friends who bring Truth at just the right time.
Parenting philosophies simplified! Today’s pick of the day.