I think we all know by now that I, like many public & motivational speakers, or preachers, have no qualms stepping on toes. It’s a fact of life! I get mine stepped on a LOT…and truth be told I NEED it…A LOT!
So, let me go ahead and remind you to keep your “you don’t have kids so you don’t understand” comments in your mouth or your mind. I don’t have to have children to know what God’s word says…or the hell I’ve witnessed my friend’s go through.
First things first: And I’ll be blunt and upfront about this: Children ARE NEVER an “Accident” or a “burden”!!! To be frank those statements PISS.ME.OFF whenever I hear someone call them such! They are GOD.BREATHED.MIRACLES. that are sent to BLESS a bad situation, or union, by taking the absolute best of a man and a woman and creating beauty from them.
If you’re having sex then you’re old enough to know that sex produces these tiny little miracles known as children. Your CONSEQUENCE to having sex outside of marriage, or marrying someone other than THE ONE God designed just for you, is NOT the child(ren) that come…it’s the fact that you have to now deal with the other part of that little miracle’s DNA for the rest of their life…and the fact that you have to GROW UP, quit the party life, and become a responsible ADULT. They’re not the consequence…the other parent is and the responsibility is.
We all know that God doesn’t make mistakes…humans do. God, and only God, can breathe life. ”Everything works for good to those that love the Lord”, “In HIS perfect timing…” so, then it shouldn’t be a surprise that if you’re sleeping around outside of His perfect design for Holy Matrimony that you come up pregnant…or you’re now a “baby daddy”, or if you’re on birth control (don’t get me started on that…that’s another post in itself) you get BLESSED with a child. Sex is for the enjoyment of a husband and wife and for PROCREATION! Duh!
NOW! Back to the original reason for this post!
NOW, that goes for grandparents too. Don’t go acting all high and mighty and “disowning” your child or grand child because your child, their parent, sinned. You did too…you DO! We all do. “For ALL have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God.” Yes, sexual sins are greater sins as they involve “the temple”…our body, BUT I’m pretty sure you’re not so squeaky clean yourself…and let’s be honest just because they reach 18 and are legally an adult doesn’t mean your job is over…you’re still their parent. There’s still a TON that they need to be taught, comforted with and through, or helped with. You still do, and you’ll need more help the older you get…remember that! REMEMBER THAT!
We’ve all heard that phrase “it takes a village to raise a child”. It’s true! It takes me, and you, and a whole slew of other people to help raise a child. Look back at your life…was there only one person who raised you? No! There were parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, preachers, teachers, friends, etc… who raised you. Who helped mold and shape you.
This next part is probably about to ruffle some feathers, but reading blogs from Christian parents and seeing it play out in SO many of my own friend’s lives just magnifies that it needs to be said….
TAKE THE KIDS! I’m not saying permanently, well…unless they’re dead beat parents, addicts, abusive, etc… in which case you NEED to take them! The children are after all their parent’s responsibilities, but every now and then TAKE.THE.KIDS! Remember how stressed out you were as a parent! How you would’ve killed for a weekend away with your spouse, even a NIGHT out without the kids! I’m “only” an aunt, but I see the need in so many of my frazzled friend’s marriages for the NEED for someone to step up and say “Honey, we know you need it, so tell us when you can get away, and we’re taking the kids this weekend/week/night”
You are, or you SHOULD be, your beloved’s SECOND priority…God being the FIRST one, and children THIRD. That’s not me yo! That’s Biblical! “Leave thy father and mother and cleave…” to who? To your children? No ma’am, no sir…you cleave to your SPOUSE. Too many marriages fall apart because when the baby carriage comes along the love and marriage fall by the way side. “Don’t keep your self from your spouse” 1 Corinthians 7:3-5
Far too many spouses, women especially from what I’ve seen, let the babies creep in above their beloved spouse. And that leaves the foundation of the marriage on very shaky ground. Remember that part in the verse above… “5 Do not deprive each other except perhaps by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.” WOW! Remember that! Why? Because in doing so you let Satan creep in with some other man or woman who’s more than willing to cherish and love your spouse when you’re busy forgetting about them…your beloved.
***Husbands: your wives need you! Yes it might’ve looked like something out of a horror flick in the delivery room…you have GOT to see past that! They’re still that beautiful, soft, precious being that God put you in charge of caring for her spiritual, emotional, and physical needs! It’s up to you to remind them of how beautiful and sexy they are….she sees past your whiny, weak, can’t do anything for yourself when you’re sick…you can see her as more than a baby birthing machine…tell her she’s beautiful and sexy…love her post baby body…she earned those stripes chief!!!
Also, fellas, take the initiative to orchestrate with her friends a girls week/weekend a few times a year, and get with the g-parents to orchestrate romantic escapades for just.the.two.of.you! Most of them won’t ever do it on their own, but they NEED IT! So, help them out, ENCOURAGE them to get away! Too many moms seem to get this “guilt” thing going when they even talk about getting away…shouldn’t happen! They need it. Give it to them! You have your golf, or your guns, or your job, etc… that takes you away for nights or weeks, or weekends…what does she have? What does she get to do to release, reboot, recharge? If you look at the ratio of guys time vs girls time usually the scale tips wayyyyy to the dad’s side on time away! Give momma bear a break!
Grandparents, Spouses…and EVERYONE ELSE:
We see it on the news all too often. “Mom drives van with kids strapped in seats off bridge.” “Parent kills children then turns gun on their-self” …Why is this happening? Because they NEEDED someone to step in and give them a break. They were overloaded. They needed help, and weren’t getting it. They “snapped”. NO! I do not condone this in any way shape or form because they could’ve and should’ve asked for help, but have you ever been so overwhelmed, so consumed by EVERY.SINGLE.THING you have to do that you just pray and wish someone would step in without you having to ask? I have!! Oh man have I ever…and I don’t have children.
Remember this: No matter how calm and “together” someone may appear above the surface I can guarantee you they’re like a duck on the pond…underneath where you can’t see they’re churning away just trying to stay afloat and keep pushing forward.
We’re a very proud society. There’s so much “silent suffering” going on, and it’s unnecessary! ”I did it. So can they!” ”I survived. My kids survived. So will theirs”, and my “favorite”… ‘Well, I never got a break.” Guess what folks! Not everyone is the same! Not everyone is created with the same stability, emotional control, drive, desires, stubbornness, or prideful-ness that maybe you are, and that’s why you could do it but someone else can’t! And they’re not supposed to! WE’RE NOT SUPPOSED TO!
We’re here to be the “third strand” so that we’re not “Easily broken”…sometimes a spouse isn’t the right thread right at that moment that someone needs to just hang on. Sometimes it’s YOU! You’re the lifeline. Throw out the rope…even if it’s just a pizza….
I read a blog the other day, written by a Pastor and a dad, and for the life of me can’t find the bookmark now, BUT it was something along the line’s of “You’re not a bad parent”. He talked about how someone recently told him “cherish every moment. It goes by so fast” and he wanted to hit them. He talked about how frazzled, and stressed he and his wife were, and that how someone just saying “You’re not a bad parent. It’s ok. Everyone feels this way” would’ve probably made him weep (again, I’m paraphrasing as I can’t find the it again…of course.) He said at the end of it something to the effect of “just drop by with a pizza, or dinner, or tell them you’ll take the kids for a bit so they can get out. It will mean the world to them.”
This was something that I’D been thinking we needed…and I’m single…with NO kids…yet! When I read that it flashed through my mind all of the times I’ve heard my friends from all across the states, globe, and web talk about how they just wished someone would step up and help them out.
What hurts my heart even more are the number of struggling parents who DO, on the very rare chance, reach out and ASK for help… for a reprieve…a break, and they’re met with being made to feel like a burden! If they’re asking, and they hardly ever ask and/or you never offer, then you know they NEED it…so help them out! Otherwise, when they snap because they won’t ask again for fear of being made to feel like a failure for having to ask the first time that’s partially on you!
Here’s the problem I have with so many grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins… these days. “I raised my babies! I ain’t raising no more”….WRONG! Your job’s not done! That’s not Biblical. That’s lazy! Yikes…maybe that last part was harsh because I’m not a parent yet, and I don’t understand? Ummm no…
The way I see it Jesus helped all sorts of people, believers and non, sinners, fornicators, drunks, raised people from the dead, and then we crucified Him. He could’ve said “welp, my job is done!” But no…He went on and defeated Hell so we believers wouldn’t have to suffer it, then He rose again, is still working miracles for us everyday, and then He’s coming back to get us! He took on more than He ever deserved or had to for people who didn’t and don’t deserve it…because HE LOVES US! He’s STILL working for us…but His “job” was done technically when He rose from the grove! WOW!
As long as we’re breathing our job is no where near done. That doesn’t just go for parenting. That goes for everything. When we retire we can’t just sit down, and do nothing. Medicine proves that a sedentary lifestyle will kill you quicker than a hard days work ever will. Our bodies were created to work…and mostly to LOVE! If we learn anything from the Bible it’s that loving IS work! Loving is being the hands and feet of Christ…even when we feel “entitled” to do nothing.
Children NEED to see that they’re loved, they’re cared about, THEY’RE WANTED…by more than just mommy and daddy! I’ve seen it too much where grandparents, aunts, uncles, a whole side of the family, are purposefully/spitefully kept from the kids, and that…well…don’t get me going on that either. If they’re family, they’re not harming the children, and they want to see them then TAKE THEM TO SEE THEIR FAMILY! And grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc… when they get brought to you be about them! Love them! BUT respect their parent’s rules and wishes. Don’t make their job harder by always trying to spoil them or be “the good guys”. Sure it’s funny to joke about it, but I’m pretty certain you hated it when your parents did that to your children…don’t repeat the cycle. They’re struggling enough getting them to mind as it is…
Parents: TAKE THEM! ”To grandmother’s house we go!” I was taken to both of my grandmother’s houses each and every holiday, and family dinners throughout the year or on Sundays. I plan on that being the case with my children someday. We hit Dad’s mom in the morning and mom’s mom in the evening. They wanted me to see my grandparents, and my grandparents wanted to see me, so they took us to see them! I can remember my grannies asking for my folks to bring us over…and they did!
I stayed the night with my grannies as a kid a lot! I can remember one night having to go to the outhouse at my mammaws because that’s what she had to use. (Talk about being grateful for my home and plumbing!) I don’t ever remember being told “no you can’t stay the night” or “not tonight” when we wanted to stay with them… but I can remember that outhouse at mammaw’s, her wrinkled smile, sweatsuits, and her beanie. I remember nights laughing with my cousins when we’d all stay over at Pappy’s, and I blame my Pappy for her getting me hooked on salsa and ranch because that’s what she’d have with tortilla chips before bed. All of these are experiences that children NEED to have with their family! It shapes them. It molds them… IT HELPS MOM AND DAD OUT!
Your job is not done when you’re done raising your kids. Your job is lessened, but your grandkids NEED you…more so YOUR KIDS STILL NEED YOU! And remember…you’ll need them eventually!
On that note: Your job is not done once you’ve retired. Your job is not done once you’ve built a successful business. Your job is not done once you defeat an addiction. Your job is not done…there are millions of people crying, and DYING for help, advice, a life saver…and that’s you…that’s me…toss them a rope!
Just because “no one ever helped me out” doesn’t mean you’re in the clear or off the hook for helping out others…especially your own flesh and blood. “Do unto others” isn’t conditional to “if it was done for me I’ll do it for them.”
It takes a village to raise a child…be the village!
Parents now hear this: This doesn’t give you the free reign to abuse your parent’s love of you or your children. They’re still YOUR children, YOUR responsibility to care for, so don’t abuse your parent’s/grandparent’s love…there’s a line. Appreciate that line, and respect their time and love too.