Tuesday, April 20, 2010
“Love believes all things…” -1 Cor. 13
I know most have heard about the birth of our first grandchild, Reese Elizabeth, but you’ll just have to indulge me a bit more about this miracle. Reese was born at 4:44pm on Monday, April 19th, weighed 7 lbs, 2 oz. and was 19 1/2 inches long. She looks a lot like Elizabeth’s baby pictures when she was born. She is, being totally objective, the most perfect baby I have ever seen.
OK, truth is, I am not being totally objective. And I am unashamedly being non-objective. I’m being about as subjective as you can be! She is my granddaughter and she is perfect and beautiful. Everything I see in her eyes reinforces my 100% confidence that her world is perfect. Seriously, I know she’s not perfect, but her slate is clean and her future is bright.
I wonder when that changes? I wonder when we, as parents, lose that confidence-building vision for our kids? Is it that first dirty diaper? Is it that constant crying during an earache induced sleepless night? Is it the realization that our beautiful child is less than perfect? As they grow up and our angel becomes a person, our subjective, naïve view of our kids changes.
It’s then that we have to learn as parents to always believe the best in our kids. As they become teenagers, we need to choose love instead of indifference when our teens act anything but perfect (which of course, is usually doing or choosing contrary to how we would choose). It’s true of coaches and teachers too. Those coaches we respect the most are those that we sense believe in us no matter how well we play.
I remember my freshman year at Baylor was challenging academically. High school had been a breeze without much serious studying and I applied that same philosophy to my first semester of college. The result was a pretty pitiful report card. When I was home for Christmas break, the report card arrived in the mail (no email then). I chose to report the poor grades to my parents later that night, as they got ready for bed (I guess I figured they’d be too sleepy to be upset). After the announcement, I remember my dad casually saying, “Oh, too bad. Better study harder next semester. Hey, did the Rangers win tonight?” “Huh, I think so. Good night y’all.” And that was the end of the conversation. They never brought it up again. I did do better the next semester.
Bottom line: my parents continued to believe in me, even when I made a mistake. They continued to view me subjectively as a young man with potential. And that was and is the confidence I needed to move forward as a man.
Even though they will always have dirty diapers and earaches in some form or fashion, believe in your teenagers and pray for them. Let them know you’re always there for them, perfect or not.
Oh, and thank you again Lord for baby Reese!
by Joseph Staples ©
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