'Parenting can be painful'

Monday Reflection

13th July 2020

'a mother, sobbing, pouring out her heart'

But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
and by his wounds we are healed. Isaiah 53:5

I cannot remember how many times, as prison chaplain,
I have listened to a mother, sobbing, pour out her heart over the phone to me.
Sons who were asking to come back home on release
but had stolen from, and physically abused, their parents
in their quest for money for drugs
until a restraining order had to be sought.

Or who just hadn't bothered to get in touch
leaving their mother sick with worry at home
(the only way she could find out if he was ok. was through the Chaplaincy)
In many instances the families waiting at home serve the sentences as well as the prisoners.

I too have been hurt by my children, many times, usually thoughtlessly,
for we love one another dearly.
But God reminds us that we are his children
and have caused him grief many times by our actions.
But his love for us never diminishes,
and through these painful episodes in our lives
we can understand the painfulness of parenting.
When we turn away from God, when we do not talk to him,
when we fight and fail to love and forgive,
worry instead of trust,
chose an idol instead of him, it hurts him.

There is no one in this world we love more than our children,
except God, and yes, the pain they cause us is,
at times, almost unbearable.
But we have done the same thing to God.
All of us have gone astray from God,
and his grief for us was so immense that he did something drastic;
he became human and shed tears of blood for us.
He allowed the suffering to be inflicted on himself
as he took on the sins of the world.

Our actions crushed him; our wrongdoings pierced his heart.
Maybe we should think twice before we stray from God
and remember the great pain that it causes him.
He loves us even more than we love our children.

In response to that love,
let's ask God to guide us in ways to please him in all we say and do,
today and every day