Families are tricky things. Anytime you put multiple people in a room for a given time there are bound to be disagreements. Right? Well add the dynamic of living together and the fact that in a family we tend to be so similar that disagreements are often more heated and differences are more severe and you have a recipe for disaster!
Our world is filled with this idea that we have to agree with peopel if we’re going to love them. We live in a participation trophy, everyone is a winner, nothing offensive, can’t speak our mind, no respect for difference, demand for fairness kind of world now. And it’s so bad that if something little happens where we don’t agree with one another, then all hell breaks loose! But what happens if members of a family don’t see eye to eye? What happens if this same dysfunctional life of our culture makes its way into our homes? How can we survive this potentially volatile situation?
I can love you even if I disagree with you.
I wish we could learn that phrase. I wish as parents and as children we better understood that disagreement doesn’t mean hatred. I have a lot of respect for parents who can have an open and honest conversation with their child telling them they disagree with the choices they’re making but still love them enough to let them have the freedom they need. As our children get older and take on a life of their own this becomes even more critical.
I have great children. There’s no doubt about that. Do they do everything I can agree with? Absolutely not. They make just as many mistakes as anyone, but we have an understanding in our house. We’ll give advice and even direction but we can’t live life for them. We give them the freedom to mess-up. We allow them at times to hit a wall of their own doing.
Now if we warn our children of the pending mistake and they choose to go down that road anyway, we won’t catch them before they fall. We’ll be there. We’ll love them. We’ll help them how we can but we won’t fix things when they willingly do what they know is wrong. But the fact of the matter is we still love them.
Some days I wish I could live life for my children and keep them from walking down roads that were ultimately going to hurt them, but I can’t. And actually most days I know how terrible that would be. Some people won’t agree with how I parent, and that’s ok. Some peopel will blame me for my children’s mistakes, and well that’s ok too. But one thing I won’t do is turn my back on my child just because they do something I don’t agree with.
To my children – You are strong and powerful young men and a young woman. God has a great deal in front of you. You don’t need to be like anyone else. You don’t need to do something to impress anyone or fit into a crowd. You know right from wrong and I trust you to make the right choice. You will always have a place to come back to, even when you mess up royally. Your mom and I will always love you. We’ve been your biggest supporters since day one and that won’t change. We may not support your choices some days but we support you – the you that we know is inside. Never stray from the you that is unique. Never think you have to be just one of the crowd. Be you. You are the only you this world has and this world needs someone just like you! I’m proud of what you’ve done and who you’ve become. Maybe I don’t say it enough, but I love all three of you and would do anything for you.