Parenting as God Parents

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Parenting as God Parents | Parenting is a tall order.  Not only does it mean forming little minds and souls while keeping little bodies protected and provided for but parents image God.  How we relate to little people as parents or in roles of authority becomes how they perceive the Lord | #WholnessHoliness #MargaretVasquezs #GrowingVirtue #ModelofHonesty #Friends #GrowingCharitytoUprootGreed #UprootGreed #GrowingCharity #TipsforConnection #ParentingasGodParentsParenting as God Parents

Parenting as God Parents. Parenting is a tall order.  Not only does it mean forming little minds and souls while keeping little bodies protected and provided for but parents image God.  How we relate to little people as parents or in roles of authority becomes how they perceive the Lord.  Because they perceive us as all-knowing and all-powerful (even though we are NOT), how we interact with them becomes how they perceive He Who is really all-knowing and all-powerful.  This can be done in a beautifully good way, as St. Therese of Lisieux’s parents imaged God for her.  Through her autobiography, Story of a Soul, the reader can see how she so naturally transitioned from being related to in a loving way that she came to understand that she is lovable and then could so easily perceive God as loving her deeply.  It was the reception of that love that filled her and strengthened her interior life. So, when it was lacking externally from uncharitable experiences from her religious sisters, she could maintain her peace.

In psychologist Madeline Levine’s article, Raising Successful Children, she explains that being overly protective and controlling of children does them no favors.  It can cripple them emotionally.  It’s the sweet spot of setting high expectations, being available, and attentive but letting go that is most beneficial.  When we focus on controlling the external results, a child loses motivation, comes to see themselves as incapable, and can become fearful of trying because of possible failure.

On the contrary, when we foster the internal development of the child – focusing on the development of character rather than external results, a child develops a self, an interior sense of who they are as someone who can struggle through obstacles and so is capable to handle the challenges that life might put in front of them.

I know this can be easier said than done if we were neglected in some way as children.  We can want to catch them before they fall.  Also, if we see their achievements as a reflection of who we are, we can try to live vicariously through them.  Let’s consider, though, how God parents us.  He has set high expectations of us by calling us to love Him, ourselves, and one another.  He is always available to us and yet respects the free will He has given us, and He doesn’t interfere with that.  As we choose the good it is not just the good result that is good, the choosing itself is good.  It’s the exercise of virtue and freedom when we had the ability and option of doing otherwise that is so precious.  It’s not just winning the good fight that is good.  The choosing to fight the good fight is where the victory begins.  Otherwise, we wouldn’t be persons.  We would be robots.

If you struggle to allow your child the good struggle that will allow him or her to develop interiorly, ask the Lord to show you what fear might lurk behind that.  Good Father, please give us the grace to parent as you do and so endow the children you entrust to us with truly free wills that are capable of choosing the good, especially You who are the greatest good.

May the Lord give you peace.

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