Friday, August 18, 2017

Monday Night Thoughts on Parenting


"Children require guidance and sympathy far more than instruction."

~Anne Sullivan



This morning I came across these words by Anne Sullivan, the amazing teacher that reached into the mind and heart of Helen Keller, and I've been thinking about them throughout the day.

Clearly, instruction is critical to the proper training of any child. If only more parents truly disciplined their own passions and eliminated their own laziness in order to do the work of proper instruction, we would be in a much better place as a society. Instruction of all kinds is necessary.

However, it's a beautiful thing when a parent is skilled in the art of guidance and sympathy.

Instruction is more about doing what needs to be done, whereas guidance and sympathy is about relationship. Guidance implies a coming alongside another, walking the same path, and gently leading. Sympathy is about experiencing life together - the joys and the troubles - without condemnation, but with humility and understanding.

I long to be a mother who is a sympathetic guide... a friend, a confidante, a safe place, a wise counselor. I work daily to this end, thinking and seeking to become more skillful, and aiming to earn that place of privilege. I look around for examples to follow and mentors to learn from, but I have found it to be a difficult search. And sadly, the examples of children and teens seeking to be friends with their parents are fewer still.

This is my hope and my ultimate example: The Lord Jesus Christ. He can sympathize to the utmost, and he leads by example and by the presence of his Holy Spirit. So I look to him to instruct me, and I find a faithful friend who walks with me, guiding me, and sympathizing in my humanness.

Ultimately, my goal is not to be a mom other people admire for my skill. It is not to produce well-behaved kids or accomplished adults. It is not even to be desired and respected by my own children, not for them to "rise up and call me blessed." My ultimate goal is to point each one of my children to Christ, who will be their ultimate instructor, guide, and source of compassion and sympathy in this life.


"For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need."

Hebrew 14:15-16


Parent and child- we are more similar than not. Our need is the same.


~Katherine


4 comments:

  1. Your blog blesses me, Katherine. What a great reminder as we start a new school year. "This is my hope and my ultimate example: The Lord Jesus Christ. He can sympathize to the utmost, and he leads by example and by the presence of his Holy Spirit. So I look to him to instruct me, and I find a faithful friend who walks with me, guiding me, and sympathizing in my humanness." Indeed!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Wendi! Yes, a new school year calls me to focus and press into my relationship with my kids, especially as they are away from me more and more. Thanks for commenting!

      Delete
  2. I needed to read this today. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete