Parenting Parables: What My Kids Teach Me about God

I continue to learn from my daughter. She puts up a good fight. There are at least three things that she hates already in her young life. She hates having her nose wiped, or worse, sucked with the blue rubber, ‘booger-grabber’ thing. She hates having bad diaper rash (don’t we all). She can’t stand to have her face wiped. Oh, and a fourth one, she doesn’t like her teeth to be brushed.

My son went through the same thing but handles each of these like a big boy now. But she…she is a fighter. She screams, kicks, cries, turns red. It is really a sad sight. The worst is when she is in pain with bad diaper rash and needs the ointment but kicks and twists so much that it’s almost impossible to put the cream, or even the diaper on.

We can’t reason with her and present a logical argument for why hygiene and health are important. She won’t even be bribed with a cookie or bottle of milk. She cannot and will not understand. She only knows to resist and fight back.

I do the same thing with God. Some things wouldn’t make sense if He explained them to me. Or more likely, I would be screaming too loud to hear Him.

He tries to clean me up, remove from my life what may be harmful, and give me a cure to my problems. But often the only way He can do that is unpleasant to me. So, I kick and scream. I cry. I turn red and resist. I fight back or run away.

Submission is for our own good. Like babies, all we know is, “I don’t like this and I want it to stop NOW!” But God is just trying to help us, like a parent loves a child. If I were to love my girl as the world loves…she would be dirty, have no teeth, terrible diaper rash, and probably be constantly sick.

Yet, that is the way we often think about love—it’s something that makes me feel good. It is soft, cozy, and comfy. It is whatever stops the crying. Sure it is, sometimes, but it can’t be all the time.

God loves us with the type of love a parent has. A parent who changes diapers so the child doesn’t go around carrying waste. God loves us so much he is willing to let us cry. He does for us and gives us what we need most, not just the things that make us smile. And, those, too.

I recently read an article about how parents will often be angry at attitudes in their children that they don’t realize the child has learned from the parent. Our kids are like a scary mirror at the theme park that reflects the worst in us. Sad but true.

Thank you, Princess, for being a good teacher.

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