My parenting style is very different from Mom’s and Dad’s. In Journeys to Mother Love I tell of being raised by a stepmother and only finding out when I was grown that she wasn’t my real mom. That was one of the disappointments and deceptions that I finally was able to forgive (with the Lord’s help), so that we could “finish well.”
When I had my own children, I was sure I could do better than my parents had. So I tried my best to give our children a firm foundation mentally, emotionally and spiritually.
In spite of my good intentions, I wasn’t the perfect parent, either. My children now tell me how they felt on the receiving end of my parenting. “You were strict,” they say. “You were really naive.” etc.
With experience comes understanding. When I was young, I couldn’t understand my parents’ viewpoint because I hadn’t walked in their shoes. Now that I’ve been a parent, too, I can look back and empathize with their struggles as they tried to make the best of what life had dealt them. And, it’s easier to forgive their shortcomings, as I hope my children will forgive mine.
My grown son encouraged me by saying he saw us seeking God and modeling Christ to him and his sister, day after day. And it’s because of that example, that he belongs to Christ today. That’s the best outcome we could have hoped for.
We can’t claim any bragging rights for that, though. God, the perfect parent, lit the flame in his heart and our daughter’s, too. Now, as part of His family, God is maturing them as only He knows how. Thank you, Lord.
~ Ellen Cardwell