Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Why I Don't Live for my Kids

I once overheard a woman on her cell phone talking about her children making her feel guilty about something. Of course, I only heard one side of the conversation, but at one point she replied to her caller, "I know! I absolutely LIVE for my kids!"

Now, I don't know this lady, so I can't say if she was speaking hyperbolically or not, but this facially-expressive non-eavesdropper raised my eyebrows to the sky!

Cause here's why: I absosmurfingly do not live for my kids.

I am straight up smitten with my girls. They are coolios. My girls have tender hearts toward people and love to laugh. They are sometimes more disciplined than I am and they teach me something every single day. I dig them.
All that and I do not live for them.

Look at em. Freaking Fantastic.
I'm involved in my kids' lives and engaged when they speak. I have taken sole responsibility for my girls' education by teaching them at home. That's work, let me tell ya. I cart them from place to place and research-ad nauseum- that the said places are worthy of our carting. I interrogate interview potential friends to make an attempt to examine their hearts to see if they are going to be good friends for my girls. I lead my girls to the Cross of Jesus, hopefully, every day.
I'm their mom, I parent them. There's so much more I do.
Just like so many of you, I do for my kids in countless ways.

I do for them. I do not live for them. There's a difference.

This is why I don't live for my children:

  • That's a lot of pressure on a kid. To live for your kids is a heavy load for them to carry. That's too much. What if she cracks? What if she stumbles? What will happen to you? The perfectionist trap is already waiting to bait kids today, and parents don't need to contribute by being an extra burden.
  • Kids' failures are their failures. They will crack. They will stumble. My girls are going to make mistakes that have nothing to do with me. If my sole purpose of existence is for them, their failure is my failure, my fault. That's too much of a burden for me to carry.
  • Kids' successes are their successes. Just like I can't take all the blame when my girls fail, I can't take all the credit for their successes, either. The wins belong to her. On the same token, this living out dreams through our children is nonsense. Nonsense. Win or lose, it's their game to play or not play.
  • Children don't belong to us. These little ones are a gift from the Lord. We are to prepare them for the battle for the Kingdom of God. For the Kingdom of God. Not for ourselves. They are here, just like we are, to make much of Jesus. He has a work for them to do that is not about us as parents.
  • I live for  Jesus. I want them to live for Jesus. I don't want them to live for me, either. Just Jesus.

I live for Jesus. I love my girls more than peanut butter and marshmallows and bananas. I love them. I love them. I love them.

I do not live for them.