Put aside all bitterness, losing your temper, anger, shouting, and slander, along with every other evil. Be kind, compassionate, and forgiving to each other, in the same way God forgave you in Christ. Therefore, imitate God like dearly love children. Live your life with love, following the example of Christ, who loved us and gave himself for us. He was a sacrificial offering that smelled sweet to God. Ephesians 4: 31 - 5:2
Children are inquisitive and imaginative. They see life with fresh, new eyes; eyes that are different from ours and from our experience. They are oh so innocent, so open, so exciting to watch, and it is our sacred responsibility first and foremost to give them all of the love, tenderness, kindness that we possibly can.
And yet, we must not kid ourselves, raising children is no easy task. They will test us and try our patience.
Children rely on their parents for food, rest, safety, andsecurity. From the very beginning of life, they learn about life and its intricacies, and they rely on their parents to guide them through their journey of discovery. They are also dealing with their independence; they are learning to be themselves by learning what they like and dislike and what appeals to them even when all of these things may be different from their parents. Behold the conflict between parent and child.
Yes, parents love their child, but this process of teaching them about life isn’t easy. Children may evoke amazing feelings: happiness, love, anger, rage, disappointment, wonder, guilt and a host of positive and negative feelings that can be frightening.
Parents or future parents need to discuss how they are going to deal with the joys and difficulties of raising children. It is exhausting to raise an infant, a toddler,and an adolescent , so parents need to figure out how to do all of these tasks together and at the same time nurture their relationship so that it does not fall apart.
Parents need to be in daily contact (if not hourly) with each other). Here are some suggestions:
- Talk intimately and honestly about how you are feeling about your child’s development.
- Discuss a routine so that each of you has a responsibility for a part of the day.
- Deal with feelings; do not take them out on your children; seek assistance if it becomes too difficult.
- A lack of sleep can be an issue; who is better at night/weekend care for your child?
- Discuss what you believe is the role of your parents in the raising of your children.
It is critical to be open, honest, and truthful and to pray daily for the ability to grow into parenting responsibilities. The Lord is always there to help parents be kind, compassionate and forgiving. Yes, you will make mistakes. As co-creator of this new life, seek the Creator to share the best ways to get through difficult times. Then listen; the Creator will speak to you and be with you as you grow into the role of Mom and Dad.
For Discussion and Reflection
- Discuss how your mother and father raised you? Were there different roles that each played? With what did you agree or disagree? How was your experience different from your partner?
- What system do you have in place to deal with your feelings of anger when it appears that you are close to being out of control? Give examples of what would bring you to that edge and how you can resolve the feelings.