Over the weekend I had an ‘electronic’ debate with a friend over a moral issue. It was an issue that I did not agree with or understand when I was younger. In fact, it was an issue that I would have been guilty of not following at one time. I have since changed my opinion and the way I live. I forced myself to look at it from the other persons’ perspective. Instead of criticizing and judging, I found myself wanting to understand WHY? Why did I once share their opinion and now vehemently oppose?
As I was going over it in my head, I was reminded of my younger years when I used to say things like “my parents just don’t understand” and “things are different now and they just don’t get it“. I remember thinking they were wrong and I would not believe all the things they believe. At times I thought they were trying to control me. With time and maturity, I have come to realize that there were just some things I did not yet understand. My parents were simply trying to protect me, not control me.
It instantly reminded me of the Church. I am a practicing Catholic that did not always believe in everything my faith was trying to teach me. But now I realize that, like a parent that wants to protect their children from things they do not yet understand, the Church is just trying to protect me and NOT control me.
I was once again reminded of the responsibility I have been blessed with in raising my children. This weekend a friend was sharing a story of parents who were in a fight for their child’s life and read a portion of their blog that mentioned this child might die. The parents were remarkably at peace and wrote that their child is actually on loan to them from God.
When our family was in a battle for our child’s life a few short years ago I recall having a similar conversation with a friend in which I mentioned the same thing. Both of us were crying on the phone and I recall saying “they are His children” and I have to be okay with His will. That does not make it easy but in that situation it puts things in perspective.
If you believe this to be true, then you have to wrap your head around the amazing responsibility we all have in raising HIS children. We are co-creators with God and also co-parenting if you will. And our greatest responsibility is to return them back to Him safely in Heaven one day.
The next time you are faced with a parenting opportunity to teach, wether it be easy or difficult, remember to put things in perspective. To shape and mold by instilling virtues and values, what could be more important?
Peace and blessings, Bo
We have all heard by now that we must “be the change we want to see”, “walk the walk” and “model the behavior” that we want in our children. But how many of us are actually holding ourselves accountable to this practice? Gone are the days of do as I say not as I do. We are living in the “show-me” generation of children that have access to any and all information. With “How to” videos instantly at their finger tips, if we don’t show them what is important someone else will.
I ask my children to be accountable to the 10-20-30GO! card and I hold myself accountable to the same set of disciplines. Not only do they get a kick out of asking me questions about my card, they also get the message that the habits of prayer, reading, and chores are important if dad is doing them too.
Decide what is most important in your family and make sure you are modeling the behavior.
Spending time in God’s presence through quiet prayer and meditation is now more important than ever. Today’s youth have many distractions from the I-pod, I-pad, Internet, twitter, facebook, etc. They are being inundated with information 24/7 and need to learn how to break away from it all.
Encourage your children to set aside all devices and distractions and find some quiet time each day. This is a discipline and learned practice that will take time to develop, but I assure you it is much needed. One day your child will thank you for teaching them this practice.
Sacred Scripture says, “But when you pray, go to your inner room, close the door, and pray to your Father in secret. And your Father who see in secret will repay you.” Matthew 6:6
Today it might sound something like this… But when you pray, go find a quiet spot that does not have a Wi-Fi connection, close the door and turn off your i-pod, and pray to your Father in secret.
Communication with our Heavenly Father is available to all and a Wi-Fi connection is not required 🙂
Peace, Bo Govea