We think that when our children are small we want to encourage them TO THINK.
We delight in all their funny thoughts and repeat every witty comment every said over a meal or to a grandparent!
When Scott said to my sister, “Why doesn’t God just kill the devil? Oh I know! He has that pitch forky thing!” I thought we would double over laughing. The theology did not worry us! The four-year-old was THINKING!!!!
They make home runs and we CHEER! They strike out and we say, “You’ll get ‘em next time!” Most of all, when they are young we are the BIGGEST cheerleaders. They make a 100 on their spelling test and we see visions of ‘writer’ in their future. They flunk a math test and we cross ‘engineer’ off the list of possible occupations and say, “The world has too many engineers anyway!”
We know they are going to be successful!
When our darlings become adults we remember all those times they were the STAR OF THE SHOW!
From our perspective, they were destined for nothing but greatness. Because of our perspective, we become disappointed when they don’t ‘reach their potential’ because of a thought they have.
We try (sometimes not so gently) to get them ‘back on course!’ We KNOW they are destined for greatness and they just need a little push.
They just need a ‘tweak in their thinking…” OR IS IT THEIR THOUGHTS?
Soon the push becomes a shove…and the shove… becomes our own frustration.
The truth is: our kids MAY NOT DEFINE SUCCESS THE WAY WE DO. They may actually have different THOUGHTS than we do.
They may not desire a corner office with a window; they may not even desire a corner office OR any office AT ALL.
We wanted them to THINK and we encouraged their thinking! Now that they are thinking on their own, sometimes we are nervous, upset and even angry that the end of their thoughts did not lead them to the same destination our thoughts led us.
I am not romanticizing that we go back to believing in pixy dust and that the moon is made of green cheese, like when they were four…what I am proposing is that some of the basic ways to find truth might come back with different thoughts:
“We should learn to take care of the widows and orphans.” Hey Mom! We are adopting! Sure we can still conceive our own kids but we want to adopt. “We should spread Jesus’ love to the ends of the earth.” Hey Dad! Last week we finally decided that our church’s missionaries need help! So we are taking the kids and going to _____ (fill in the blank with anywhere more than 200 miles away and preferably without clean water) “We should put others above ourselves.” Yea, we know this is going to be hard on our family, but we prayed and we really feel like we need to take in this woman and her three kids while she gets on her feet. “As much as we can, we should owe no one anything except love.” We sold our second car. We are paying off all our debt. We can do this. “As far as it lies within you, live peaceable with all men.” I am not gonna rock the boat on his lifestyle. Live and let live is what you taught me. “He who doesn't take care of his family is worse than an infidel.” I am quitting my job. I can never be at home when he is home and it is just not worth it.