March 17, 2011

Randering Through Proverbs : Changing Perspectives (Day 17)

Happy St. Patrick's Day! I hope no one got pinched because they forgot to wear green. :)

We are on day 17 already - where is this month going. It truly has been a big blur.

I did a LOT of underlining and circling and "starring" in chapter 17. God's word is good stuff! One verse that has always been a favorite is verse 17:
"A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity."
This verse means so much to me because I want so desperately for my 3 boys to have that bond that only brothers can share.  It has always been a concern for me that with them spread so far apart in age, they would not develop that bond.  But I continue to pray that over time they would grow to understand the value of family and, when times get tough, that they would always know that their big (or little) brother has got their back!

But the verse that really hit home with me today was verses 21 & 25:
"To have a fool for a son brings grief: there is no joy for the father of a fool...A foolish son brings grief to his father and bitterness the the one who bore him."
Before kids, or even while my kids were still quite little, when I looked at this verse I thought it was talking about how embarrassing it would be for parents to have "screw ups" for kids.  I mean, what would the neighbors think?

No parent wants their children's shenanigans being the talk of the town, right?

But now that our kids are older, I see this verse from a little different perspective.  As parents, we have so many hopes and dreams for our children.  We want life to be better for them than it was for us.  We want them to have the "best", to succeed and excel at everything they do, to have great friends and avoid the same pitfalls and mistakes that we made in our younger years.

But when things don't go well for them, when life is hard or even when they make foolish decisions - sometimes with dire consequences - it is not shame or embarrassment that we feel.

It is grief.

Our hearts ache for our children.  It hurts us to see them hurt and struggle and fail.  It is so hard to not be able to wave some magical wand to fix everything for them and there are times when we simply can't.  Then there are times when we could  - but we know that, no matter how hard it is to stand back and watch them flail and struggle, we would be hurting them, not helping them, if we did "fix it" for them.

When our children make mistakes... when we see them going down the wide path instead of the straight and narrow... when we see them headed towards something that we know is going to cause them pain or suffering...
everything within us groans with sorrow.  We know that there is a better way and that God has something better planned for them than what they are choosing.

But all we can do is watch.

No, I take that back.  All we can do is pray.  And remember that even when we feel completely out of control, God is still in complete control.  That he has not forgotten or forsaken them.  That he has not stopped watching out over them.  And that before they were "ours", they were his.  And remember this:
"As a [earthly] father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him" (Psalm 103:13)
His compassions never fail us.  And He will not fail our children.

Be blessed!

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