Childbirth is hard. But parenting takes hard to a whole new level.
Joy is caught in fleeting moments—sparkling eyes above a dimpled grin, grubby arms wrapped around your neck in a tight hug, and the occasional, “You’re the best mom in the whole world.”
Our hearts expand with the unique bond of love that feels uncontainable and unbreakable. We would give our child the world in that instant, certain his heart is united with ours in love and purpose.
Life is magnificent. Our child nearly walks on water in our eyes . . . until we put the lid back on the cookie jar, or ask him to do his homework, or limit TV and computer time.
The loving togetherness is shattered as storm clouds roll over his features and thunder erupts from his mouth. Our own anger may rise to meet his. We walk away from the exchange in guilt and frustration. How did we go from loving him so completely to disliking him so intensely?
We love our children more than life, yet they can exasperate us with a word or a look. How easily we forget that children are not tiny versions of adults. They are another “being” entirely. Children being foolish, being naughty, being curious being tired . . .
Without limits and guidance children will always choose dessert over dinner, computer time over homework, and short sleeves in the middle of a snowstorm.
God entrusts parents with the mammoth responsibility and privilege of raising these precious gifts. As difficult as parenting can be, if we keep love as our focus, we’ll be well on our way to doing a great job. (1 Cor. 13:1-3)