I cannot remember the first place that I read this, but I believe it was at Ann Voskamp’s lovely blog ‘A Holy Experience’. The quote is this : ‘as a parent you have to connect before you correct’. That thought has shaped my parenting goals this year. As the days get longer and the children get older, parenting gets harder. You have this completely wonderful person that you love more than you love yourself and you are trying to figure out how lead them through their childhood to become well adjusted adults that will make a difference in the world.
As the days become weeks, the weeks months, and the months years that speed by at an ever-increasing pace the pressure to get it all said and get it all done before you blink and they are grown up feels so heavy some days. And not just that, but to not lose their heart in the process. To not stir up anger, resentment and a feeling of hopelessness, that no matter how hard they try, they will never please you.
Investing in their hearts is so time consuming, but I do not believe if you searched the world over you could ever find a better investment. You may never see the reward of your effort, the fruit of your harvest but the seed will be planted, and God can be trusted to bring it to fruition. I know that struggles are inevitable and sin is abundant in our world, there are literally no guarantees, because we cannot see God’s purpose or plan. But we are not called to know the end, we are called to love one another deeply (and at my house we add, especially on the hard days).