- Family and Parenting
You Are So Worth It!
A few days ago I turned 51 and I enjoyed such a wonderful celebration with my family and friends. It was very special and it got me to thinking. I believe strongly that the life we have been given is precious and that God has paid the highest price for it, therefore celebrating the day Heaven let you go and entrusted your parents with you is a wonderful memorial. It serves as a reminder that you are unique and that there is no one like you anywhere else on the earth or, for that matter, ever will be.
As I dwelt on this train of thought it began to take flight and I suddenly realised that the same day I was celebrating my birthday there would be thousands upon thousands of births and birthdays. Statistics state that approximately 360,000 will be born and combine that with the rest of the people celebrating their birthday then that is an amazing amount of unique celebrations going on each and every day.
My thoughts continued flying and I asked myself a question,
‘What kind of life have they been born into?’
It struck me that of those 360,000 little ones that had entered earth’s atmosphere that perhaps only a third would grow up to truly understand that they are unique and so worth it! It is a tragedy to know that the majority of little ones being born and people living on earth today will not experience a life of encouragement, beauty and love.
Hence my thoughts turned to paper so that they could become permanently etched in words that would speak truth. Jesus said ‘If you know the truth it will set you free.’
How very precious the births of these little ones are. As you hold them in your arms from the moment they first enter the world the wonder and joy that comes with them is like no other moment you can ever remember having. As you count the fingers and toes and check that everything is in the right place, you begin to wonder and dream for that little ones life. You begin to impart what you believe is right for that child to be able to become all they are destined to be because once again I state,
‘They are unique, there is nobody else like them and ever will be.’
From the moment they enter into your world you tend to their every need. You feed, you burp, you change their soiled nappies, you get up at night in sacrifice to ensure that the cries you hear aren’t from nightmares, or from being unwell or that they simply want to be held and to see your face. You daily do your best to bring them joy, to encourage and build them up. You absolutely make sure that you are there for their first wobbly steps and hold out your arms to make sure that you catch them if they fall. When their first word is spoken deep down you are praying that it will be the acknowledgement of you. You help mould them by imparting your wisdom, training them up in the way they should go, praying that they learn well so hopefully life will be a happy one for them, that they don’t end up wounded or broken along the way. You impart the best of your love so that they do not end up feeling rejected and alone. You do your best to be brave as they begin their first day at school. You wipe your eyes as your child is taken into the classroom and the door closes and you are left alone outside in the hallway, probably feeling sadder than your child if truth be told. On that day a large part of you has suddenly become redundant, that person who just shut the door will now be employed to take one third of your role and at times with greater qualifications! You believe that your child will be alright but the realisation that your parenting is no longer 24 / 7 hits hard. Your child is now under another person’s authority and influence. You silently pray that what they teach them is as close to what you have imparted and believed for them for the betterment of their future. You watch them grow so fast and are so proud when they begin to become who they are meant to be. Then another strong influence enters in, it is called peer pressure. Then you find your afternoons are taken up with sadness and you silently weep with them as they tell you what the children cruelly inflicted on them that day at school. You begin to see, that in order to cope, they gradually shut down who they are and begin to harden their hearts so that it can deflect the fiery darts of embarrassment, shame and rejection. Before your eyes they slowly begin to change into someone that you can hardly recognise as their identities are now influenced and shaped more radically by the world they spend time in. They no longer are happy with holding your hand as they walk down the street; they no longer want to go out on family outings, for that matter they now seem to not want to spend time with you at all. Instead they want to be in the presence of others who they hold in higher esteem then you. Often, more often than not, this is to their detriment and hard as you might to protect them and offer your wisdom and help with the situations they find themselves in, the more they shut down and back off from you. It is then that it dawns on you one day that perhaps it is time to let them go. As much as you don’t want to, as much as you know if they continue down the path that they have chosen that deep pain is coming their way, it is the only thing of value left for you to be able to do for them. To let go and with the letting go say goodbye to the years of sacrifice, the years of joy, the years that bought sadness, the years that bought change. When you let go there seems to be not much left apart from memories. Once again you find yourself in familiar territory, holding out your arms to catch them if they fall.
It is their journey now, with or without you. It is a journey that will someday bring them a little one and with that responsibility the knowledge that they will also experience and better understand the pain that you are now going through as you watch them from a distance. Until that day comes though they are now on life’s path to make their own mistakes and suffer the consequences without your intervention, to make their own decisions, to fulfil their dreams and leave an inheritance, to walk their own journey.
This part of the journey for them, apart from you being their focus, is scary and full of risk. It may well bring a time of reflection and taking stock of what they have become and what they believe. Or it may well bring a wide path of destruction, getting ever wider each day. What you have imparted is still very much a part of them and your hope is that what you have imparted may help to make them. The last thing you want is the knowledge that you may also have played a part in breaking them. The role of a parent is one of the most rewarding or one of the most devastating roles you get to play apart from your role in marriage. So in summary, if you have imparted encouragement into them then they will blossom. If you have imparted discouragement, this too will blossom and they will become a discouragement to you and others. If you have imparted love then they will blossom in love and find it easy to love others. If you have imparted hate then this too will blossom and become a hotbed where resentment, bitterness, anger and despair breed. If you have shown them that they are important to you and the people around them then they will impart to others how important they are. If you have shown them that they are a disappointment to you then they will indeed end up a disappointment to themselves, to you and to the people in their lives. If you are always angry then they too become angry. The spiral of influence brings with it life or death. It is as if they will be a reflection of what you place in them, as a mirror reflects, so will their life. Your words can carry life or they can carry death. I believe one of the greatest lies is ‘Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me.’ This lie comes from the pit of hell and has caused devastation where ever it lands. Why? Because whatever unedifying name you are called, it carries within it an attack on your identity. If you are called ‘Stupid, crazy, lazy, ugly, not worthy’ over a period of time it becomes who you are for as a man or woman thinks in their heart so they become. If they believe that they are ‘Stupid, crazy, lazy, ugly, not worthy’ then they will become like the names they were called.
You and your child both deserve to be called ‘Amazing, beautiful, diligent, imaginative, great and so worth it!’
These words carry life. These words need to be in your talk and carried out in your walk.
Jesus said, ‘I have come to bring life and life in abundance.’ He also said ‘I have loved you with an everlasting love.’ His everlasting assignment is to tell you that ‘You are so worth it!’ Why? Because He paid the price for you.
So I ask the questions, ‘What do you want for your newborn?’
‘What do you want for you from this moment onwards?’
‘Do you value this little one as so worth it?’
‘Do you value yourself as so worth it?’
As you impart and help mould this child into whom they are destined to be please remember, ‘to handle with care.’ This life has been given to you by their Father in Heaven who looked to and fro throughout the earth especially for you to be their parents. You have a choice, to seek Him and His manual for help to raise this child or you can ignore it. If you choose to ignore it then how is it that you allow others to wrongly influence your child on a daily basis? You even allow media to influence your child and be its babysitter by allowing the television to watch over them. You allow all kinds of video games into their lives and now even virtual games where war becomes real, murder becomes normal and immorality screams out and grabs hold of them to go and do ‘their own thing’ without realising the devastating consequences that accompany ‘their own thing.’ Don’t even get me started on the internet and what influence it pours forth. When these influences have full authority in your home, heartache is sure to follow.
Why then can you not allow God, Who is love, into your home?
My prayer is that you will let Him in, because I can honestly tell you from being one who has made that decision, you will begin to see your child flourish in all that they put their hands to and become all they are meant to be. The wonderful thing is so will you. Then together you and your household can say
‘WE ARE SO WORTH IT!’