Saturday, May 11, 2013

The Theories and The Challenges

Before becoming a mother I had a hundred theories on how to bring up children .Now I have seven children and only one theory:love them,especially when they least deserve to be loved.-Kate Samperi

We all have theories—good ones—BC (before children).  I have heard “No child of mine will do that.”  “Why can’t she do something with that child?”  In fact, I have been known to mutter these perfectly good theories myself.  Oh come on, I know you have too.  It’s easy to know what needs to be done, if we aren’t in the game.  It’s like being an armchair quarterback.  Everything is cut and dry, black and white.  But, and this is a BIG BUT, what happens to our theories when  we are in the trenches ourselves? 

In the BC stage life can run smoothly but admit it—sometimes it is boring.  In the AC phase (after children) our lives will never be the same.  I don’t mean just the tons of dirty diapers and the late night feedings—these will stop after awhile.  I mean the “why” questions and the embarrassing things our adorable little darlings do and say in public.  Mine have pulled their share of this sudden desire to let everyone in a mile radius know what they are thinking.  Sometimes we just want to jerk them up and let them have it.  But, there are always those people around that are still in the BC stage and would totally misunderstand our methods of reining in the wild ones.   I remember when my daughter was about 8 years old and we were sitting in a restaurant when out of nowhere she announced to the other patrons:  “Hear ye, hear ye, Momma farted.”  I had not but felt like crawling under the table.  That was our first and last time in that restaurant.  In fact, it was quite a few months before we went out to eat again.  This was funny but it would have disastrous to laugh because she appeared to be ready to say or do something else. 

So we can have all kinds of theories about parenting when we are BC but we throw those theories out of the window when the blessings do come into our lives.  I said throw the theories out of the window—not the children—though sometimes it is tempting.  I have been a parent for many years and have clung to only one theory in child rearing.  I love my kids and let them know that every day.  I love them because they deserve to be loved and especially when they least deserve it.  After all, children a wonderful gift from God and are ours for such a short time.

If you are in the BC stage remember all the theories in the world may sound good but in the AC stage only one holds true—love them unconditionally and always.


I thank you for my children and grandchildren.  Help me show them love even when they are most unlovable because I know you love me even when I am not easy to love.

I pray this in Jesus’ name.