We went away for a few days and much to our surprise, there were plenty of kids everywhere. We discovered there was a hockey tournament taking place in the area.
We enjoyed watching the boys interact and horse around. We overheard, (OK so I eavesdropped as I am an avid people watcher), coaches talking and sharing with the boys over breakfast. It was heartwarming, to say the least, listening to words of encouragement, affirmation and strategy taking place over pancakes. Perhaps our enjoyment stemmed from the fact our own son coaches a high school girl’s varsity basketball team. Perhaps because we realize how greatly a coach can influence a young life.
But mostly it was because we loved the years that our children were involved in sports and activities. We drove them far distances to participate. We never missed an event. We chaperoned, fundraised, baked, drove and cheered with the best of them. Each weekend became family time – where relationships were deepened. We laughed till our sides hurt and our eyes were tearing like crazy. We slept in hotels, some of which were reminders of the Bates Motel in the movie “Psycho”. And we would not trade a single moment.
It was not strange that we should find ourselves remembering those times and having a lengthy discussion about those years. We admitted we made mistakes in parenting but then who of us hasn’t? We truly were learning as we raised them. Or maybe, in some intimate and strange way, we were all learning together. We were sharing experiences-failures and successes; joys and pains; and all the while, growing together. In a way, parents are coaches as well. If I were to give one piece of advice regarding parenting, it would be this – - -
Be the best parent you can be.
So simple. Give it all you got. Love deeply and unconditionally. Play hard and often. Laugh constantly. Share life with them each and every day. And then:
- Let your hope be in God, who alone is able to take our mistakes, cover them with His grace, and redeem each mistake for His glory.
- Love like He loves – with a love that never gives up on them. Love them unconditionally even when it is hard to do so.
- Place your faith in God for He alone is bigger than our failures.
“See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are!” (1 John 3:1, NLT)
We are His children and He loves us for our own good, even when we are not deserving….
God loves the sinner, not because He is drawn to him by his lovableness, but because, in spite of man’s unloveliness, God sets His mind and will on seeking man’s highest good. This is what is amazing about God’s love.” (taken from The New American Commentary, Volume 38, page 133)
His love for us should astonish us, amaze us, creating such wonder in us. And may it teach us to love our children as the Father has loved us.
(image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net/Kookkai_nak)