At a soccer game this weekend, I listened as a lady and her husband lamented that they could not turn back the clock to a few months ago, before their son began playing Fortnite. They wished they could do it differently. These parents longed for the old productive good fun their son had and they felt a bit mournful and defeated amidst his new addiction to the game. However, they were wearing a chipper attitude in the midst of their “defeat” because they love their son no matter what and figured this is the way it just had to be. At least it wasn’t worse, they thought.
We traded stories. At first they were surprised at my family’s stringency; however, by the end of the soccer game (which we won), the mother was ready and energized to restore the order she and her son once had. The only thing that my stories really told her was, “You can do it.”
While I certainly would love to engage in a conversation about video games, that is not the issue for this post. The issue is: as parents, we often have a dream in our hearts for our children and we need to persist in pursuing that dream. That dream, that hope, was put by God in your heart, as a parent, for a reason.
May the eyes of your hearts be enlightened, that you may know what is the hope that belongs to his call, what are the riches of glory in his inheritance among the holy ones,and what is the surpassing greatness of his power for us who believe, in accord with the exercise of his great might.” (Ephesians 1:18-19)
Strangely, many of us surrender without a fight – like a little dog in the presence of a German Shepherd. I know I do. “What? You’re too tired to pray with me tonight? OK.” or “Oh, your friends all wear that? OK. I guess we can buy it.” or “You don’t want to have a conversation right now about virtue? Oh, OK, I guess it can wait another year.”
It is easy to get depressed about the resistance to goodness that we find in our culture, our children and even ourselves. Perhaps I should just speak for myself: When my kids resist the good things I’m trying to teach, I feel like crying. I worry that it won’t work. I see a lot of people in this situation. Something about our culture makes us feel like we have no possibility of fulfilling our dreams of goodness for our families.
Our kids are worth pressing through those feelings of doubt. Let’s encourage one another! Beauty and goodness in a family is worth it! If your kids are still living in your house, it is not too late. It will be easier to rip off a bad habit today than it will next year. Is your kid 14? Fine. Don’t give up on him. Your girl is three? Great! Keep a good start going. Don’t let up. Keep the good goal in mind.
We as parents have the authority by God to lovingly create the boundaries, expectations and environment in order to foster those good dreams for the sake of our children. We also have each other — good parents — believing and acting as if goodness is possible. We can stand up and fight on behalf of our children. We can believe in holiness. We can dream big beautiful good things and take steps to realize them. You can do it.
Copyright 2019 Carrie Soukup