Mommas, donít let your babies grow up to be lonely
It’s funny the way the relationship between a boy and his Mother develops. In this world there are so many ways that the family unit can be labeled, but the role that a mother plays in it never changes. It has been said that Mothers make boys but fathers build men.
I however was not given that road to travel in life. When I was three my father died from a type of cancer and from that point on it was just mom. She was the gravity in my life. Oh sure, there were step-fathers that came and went offering a shabby example of poor parenting, but when the dust settled, it was back to being me and mom!
I do believe that who I am is a direct result of who she was to me, And now that I am older I am so very grateful for that. But young boys don’t think about life goals or setting examples. It is scarce to find a teenager that is thinking thirty minutes ahead of his “World of Warcraft” game. They are more limited to the range of thinking with there feelings and feeling with there stomachs.
If you are a wise mother then you will probably find a way to sneak in your nuggets of wisdom with hot-pockets and leverage their privileges to motivate them to success. But by all means never shelve the hand of discipline in fear of losing there love. Once you do, you have opened the door to being manipulated by your nine-year old. I assure you, it’s coming eventually, one way or another. But when you cease to remind them of their place in the family, suddenly they begin viewing their privileges as rights and you as an obstruction to them. Of course a lot of parents are afraid of rejection or of being hypocrites. And let’s face it; it is hard to teach principles that you yourself are not a pillar of strength on. But you can not let that be an excuse for lowering the bar. Remember that you are instructing from your failures as well as your successes, and don’t be afraid to show them that. There is something encouraging to a child when you let them know that, like them, you are also imperfect. Just trying to be better today than you were yesterday.
I promise you this though. One thing you can count on is never having to earn your child’s love. It just comes naturally to them. So naturally in fact that it is just second nature to use it as leverage to get the things they want. And why not? We are the same way. Once you have a big screen TV you don’t worry about getting one. You move on to securing the blu-ray player. You don’t worry about losing the TV. You are quite secure in its position in the living room.
And it is the same for them. If you nurtured them and raised them up in the fullness of your love the best you knew how to, then chance are, they are more secure in your love than you are. They never doubt that it’s there, or second guess that they could lose it. It just is, and why would that change now. Anything else, they learn in your eyes.
The only time they start to second guess this bedrock truth is when mom and dad start fighting and don’t sop. When somebody leaves and doesn’t come back. Or when everything else is more important to you than them!
Sadly enough though, to err is human!
We fight, we leave, and we forget what is most important to us on a regular basis.
So what do we do when we let them down inevitably?
Well, for starters, just because you are a proud parent doesn’t mean that you have to be a prideful parent. If you want your children to accept your mistakes then you are going to have to be able to accept them yourselves. Nothing will make up for not being transparent enough to admit when you screw up and ask for forgiveness. How can we expect them to do it if we don’t have the guts to do it ourselves? Most of us have a hard time with this because it was not mirrored to us by our parents! Do you see a pattern evolving?
The anxiety comes from the fear that if we do, we leave ourselves open to being judged. But we have to get over that fear because we have already been there. We as Christians all stood at the foot of the cross and confessed our great weaknesses leaving us exposed to the world, and to the great accuser (the devil), and we took responsibility for our sins. We checked our pride at the door and we do not regret it for we are washed in the blood of the lamb!
There may be no greater example to set for our children than this. It is a beacon to salvation and worth the price whatever it may be.
If we can do this, then we can keep the lines of communication open with them. Because eventually they will drift. Oh yes, all of the adolescent mistakes we made in our youth that we have kept so tightly under lock and key, hoping that they would never discover them and use them as an excuse for there own ? Trust me. They don’t need an excuse. Life will find them. But if we have made it this far, then have faith, because God will find them to!
And you, mother. All of the love that you have instilled in them since the beginning. Being careful to seize every opportunity that you could. Knowing that one day their boat would sail out into the sea of life. Unsure of how far they would go or how long they would leave you. Do not lose hope now, for your love has built a tether that ties your hearts together. No matter how dark the night or how stormy the sea, you are the lighthouse that will light the way home!