Friday, February 06, 2009
As many of you know...I love music. I love music to cheer me up, to enhance my happiness, to have fun, to reflect, to worship, to cry...for a lot. I love all kinds of music and I show no favoritism or partiality to any genre or style of music. Yes, there are some I prefer more often than others...but it's all good!
Yesterday, as I had a random playlist playing on my ipod while on the treadmill, I came across a song that I hadn't heard in a while. Actually, I am not sure if I really ever listened to the words. As it played...it really intrigued me...so I listened to it again. The song is called "Perfect" by Alanis Morissette. The song portrays to me the kind of demands and expectations that parents whether intentionally or unintentionally place on their children. It just really spoke to me about how important our attitude, love, grace, discipline, forgiveness and acceptance are towards our children. I know many people who push, push, push their children or have been on the receiving end of that as a child. I am not talking about love and much needed encouragement...I am speaking of the constant assumption that their children need to be the best at everything, that winning is everything, that having more than someone else is important, that being who the parent wants them to be is more important than who God truly made their child to be or sadly, that being what they the parent never were and trying to live vicariously through their children.
We can all be guilty of these attitudes at one time or another...but I think it is something that is not always talked about. We all have expectations in life and we all have some sort of expectations as to what the people around us should exhibit and be like...including our children. Although my children are still relatively young, I look at them and all of the unique and amazing personality traits and qualities that God gave them and it makes me wholeheartedly want to love them, show them acceptance, show them forgiveness, show them unconditional love to the best of my ability, to provide comfort, sympathy, understanding when they are confused, sad or hurt, to encourage them to be all that God created them to be, to know that we are more than blessed and have more than many people in the world and most importantly, that God made each of them for a purpose and loves them more than even mommy and daddy do...which is hard to grasp! I recently heard a seminar from a psychologist that stated that: "The parents are the image of God to children. They view God through the image portrayed by their parents." WOW! What a responsibility we have then to make sure our own lives are in touch with the love and grace of God!
I don't say this as one who has no experience in being made to feel small by a parent. I grew up in a very dysfunctional home where God had to do an amazing work in my life for me to love and trust him and others...because the example I had been given was faulty by far. And in that understanding of the dysfunction I experienced...I have learned to forgive, to love and accept the place I came from. And I choose to love my parents as I know they understand the hurt they allowed us to endure by their own problems. This isn't to say...do whatever you want to your kids because someday they'll love you and forgive you! Not in a million years! One thing that I truly understand is that children are incredibly resilient and even if a parent has been doing things the wrong way up to this point or has made many mistakes...asking for forgiveness and choosing to change and do things right can change everything. And no matter how frustrated we get as parents with some of the things our children do, we must always seek to love, encourage and teach our children how to make good decisions by making good ones ourselves and apologizing when we don't make the best decisions. We must also, always be looking for the good in our children more than the not so good and make sure that we tell them how proud of them we are...daily. As I was getting my picture up...this little image popped up on photobucket and it said: "NOTHING you can do could make me love you less." That is how I want my children to feel.
Lyrics to the song "Perfect" by Alanis Morissette
Sometimes is never quite enough
If you're flawless, then you'll win my love
Don't forget to win first place
Don't forget to keep that smile on your face
Be a good boy
Try a little harder
You've got to measure up
And make me prouder
How long before you screw it up
How many times do I have to tell you to hurry up
With everything I do for you
The least you can do is keep quiet
Be a good girl
You've gotta try a little harder
To make us proud
I'll live for you
I'll make you what I never was
If you're the best, then maybe so am I
Compared to him, compared to her
I'm doing this for your own good
You'll make up for what I blew
What's the problem...why are you crying
Be a good boy
Push a little farther now
That wasn't fast enough
To make us happy
We'll love you just the way you are if you're perfect.