With my kids, I forget that the main thing is to love them.
The main thing isn’t to get at the bottom of what’s bugging them, to get them to share their hearts, or to fix all that is going wrong with them.
In other words, the main thing isn’t that I’m an awesome parent.
The main thing is that my children know that I love them.
So when they are upset for any reason, whether it be at the hand of one of my reprimands or due to the impact of some other random circumstance, my goal shouldn’t be to extract a perfectly clear explanation as to what they are feeling and why they are feeling it.
The goal – the win – is to ask them about what’s going on. The goal is to care and to make sure they know that I care.
God knows I have bouts with emotions that I don’t understand. I have moods that are brought on by any number of stressors, some identifiable, some not. And at those moments, I don’t need a Mr. or Ms. Fix-It with the perfect socket wrench to fit the screw that has somehow shimmied loose.
I want someone to notice and to care. I might circle back around later for a solution, but in the moment, I want to know you care and love me even if I’m being a Grumpy Gus.
I know our children are the same way, with even less ability to explain what’s going on in their new, young hearts.
I’m guilty of trying to force an answer (lovingly, of course). That’s why I’m writing this. This is a reminder to ask, sit, love, and listen should he or she decide to put words to what’s going on in the heart and head.
My goal – my win – is not to be an awesome parent.
My win is to ask the question and to be a safe place.
That’s where it all starts.
‘The win is the question’ was a quote at the end of Milestones, a sermon from Matt Chandler from The Village Church. It was a random end to a great sermon that sparked a bit of thinking.