28 Apr Message from the Head of School, April 29th, 2021
We know more today than has ever, in the history of mankind, been known about children – their development, how they learn, how they process trauma and joy, the best ways to teach and nurture them. So, parenting should be easy, right? No, it is hard! Both teaching and parenting are full of joy for sure, but there are days . . . are there not?
Especially in recent generations, we’ve been seeking the holy grail of parenting – the one philosophy, the one set of tactics, the one book or parenting workshop that will tell us all we need to know to do the job well. Yet, if you’ve been a parent for more than about 2 years, you know that no such thing exists. And really, this is how it should be, and always will be, because God has such a beautiful opportunity to minister to us when we are having difficulties with parenting.
Children are the great levelers. It doesn’t matter how educated or prestigious or wealthy or influential you are, your children will bring you to your knees at some point, and if you are physically and emotionally present with them, they will do so over and over again. I believe this is how it was meant to be. Our God does some of His best work in us when our children bring us to places of great vulnerability or confusion or fear.
When we bring another little human into this world, they capture our hearts in a way we didn’t think possible. God shares with us a sliver of the joy He felt at our birth, and our understanding of His love for us takes on a new and more vivid dimension. And we are never the same.
Certainly, having engaged with us in the miracle of childbirth, He does not then send us off to find the secret of parenting in a book or at a workshop, in an article or a Facebook post. As Paul would say, “May it never be!” We really must return – moment by moment – to the source of all our wisdom, of our capacity to love our children well and to enjoy them even when they are making themselves difficult to enjoy.
There is nothing your children have done or will do that needs your forgiveness, that you haven’t done or won’t do to your Father – and that He hasn’t already forgiven you. There’s nothing your children can do that will make you kick them out of your family, just as there is nothing you can do that will make your Holy Father kick you out of His family. There’s nothing your children can do that would make you love them any more than you already do, just as there is nothing you can do that would make your Father love you any more than He already does.
God parents us as we parent our children. So, when they have sent us into a tailspin – large or small – God’s longing is that we turn quickly to the Father who loves us and our children more than we can know, whose plans for us are rich, and who gives far beyond all we can ask or imagine according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus.
And that’s so much better than a book.