Parenting in the Shadow of the Cross

As parents, we hope that our children "turn out" well.  Most of us try our very best to get them there.  However, we all can point to examples where parents do everything right, and the kid is a mess.  We also know circumstances where parents are total and complete disasters, and the kid turns out to be a marvel.  I'm not saying it's a total crap-shoot, but sometimes, it can feel this way.

Right now, Dark-haired Daughter is struggling.  You know how when a person is drowning, and someone tries to rescue them, out of panic, the "drownee" often struggles AGAINST the rescuer?  That's where our daughter is.  Desperate for rescue, and fighting mightily against the help being offered.  We have friends whose young adult son is awaiting the birth of his first child.  Sadly, he has turned his back on the baby's mother, taken up with a new girlfriend, and seems to have no concerns about the situation. 

Parenting in the light of Christ is a joyful place: the birth of a new baby, the swelling of pride as a daughter accepts a school award, the wonder of seeing a "little boy" become a man in stature and choices.  Parenting in the shadow of the Cross SEEMS like a whole other place:  it is dark and often sad, a place where hard choices are required, and no reward seems immanent.  It is, though, exactly the same place:  a place where Christ lifts us up, a place where we don't know the outcome but trust that God does and that God is always good, and a place where the darkness of evil and sin can NEVER overcome the grace that Christ offers.   It is not an easy place, but at least (or maybe, at most) Christ is there.   

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