many people go thru life feeling like failures. For them, having kids
is kind of like a “do-over.” It’s a chance to live out their dreams
vicariously. Soccer dads get to live out their dreams of stardom as
little Johnny shoots his first goal.
My parents were
wonderful, but I was never going to be the doctor my Dad wanted me to
be. I fainted when my second child was born. I was bad in biology and
chemistry class and I got queasy when I saw blood.
Our job as
parents is to study our children, understand how God has gifted them
and what dreams he has bound up in their hearts. Then we need build
them up so that one day, they can tap their gifts and realize those
We parents need to fight the urge to control our kids as they get
older, gradually releasing them to their destiny. Too many parents have
apron strings like bungee cords that keep extending out.
quote from Henri Nouwen is a wonderful perspective on parenting. He
thinks of the baptism of children as an opportunity for parents:
birth a child is given to parents; through baptism a child is given to
God. At baptism
the parents acknowledge that their parenthood is a participation in
God’s parenthood, that all fatherhood and motherhood comes from God.
Thus baptism frees the parents from a sense of
owning their children. Children belong to God and are given to the
parents to love and care for in God’s name.
“It is the parents’ vocation
to welcome their children as honored guests in their home and bring
them to the physical, emotional, and spiritual freedom that enables
them to leave the home and become parents themselves. Baptism reminds
parents of this vocation and sets children on the path of freedom.”