I have written previously about parenting and will probably write about it again.  It is a subject that touches virtually everyone as most of us will become parents or, at the very least, have been the benefactors or victims of parenting ourselves.  Unfortunately, it is a subject that far too many people don’t have a good grasp on despite its critical importance.  One anecdote that best captures the irony of people’s ignorance on this supposedly important subject is a scene from the 1989 movie Parenthood.  This movie with several well-known veteran actors is about the trials and tribulations of parenting.  In one scene, Helen Buckman, a divorced mother of two played by Dianne Wiest, is concerned about problems she is having with her son and is discussing the situation with her daughter’s boyfriend, Tod Higgins, played by Keanu Reeves.  Ostensibly, she seems to be trying to understand the actions of her son and realizes that, as a woman, she doesn’t fully comprehend the experience of being a young male growing up in a modern society.  So, she turns to Tod, who is an older male teen, in hopes that he can enlighten her and perhaps give her some tips on how to approach the situation.   

In the ensuing discussion, Tod reveals that he had been abused by his father. He tells Helen, “He used to wake me up in the morning by flicking lit cigarettes at my head, [saying] ''Hey, asshole, get up and make me breakfast.'' After a pause to let that scenario sink in, he continues, “You know, Miss Buckman, you need a license to buy a dog or drive a car. Hell, you need a license to catch a fish. But they´ll let any butt-reamin´ asshole be your father.”  In his own crude way, he captures one of the profound ironies of life.  We put so much effort into monitoring so many aspects of modern life, yet we often neglect the weightier matters such as parenting.  This is not to advocate government getting involved in some kind of bureaucratic licensing scheme to determine who should parent and who should not.  That would be a fiasco.  But it is certainly ironic that this critical process for the well-being of civilization receives so little focus and is so seldom discussed.

I don’t need to tell you that many do not handle the responsibility of parenting very well.  The aforementioned scene from the movie is so poignant because we all probably know people that were raised in abusive homes or we were, ourselves, raised in such homes.  In our sinful world, far too many fail in this area by lapsing into the worst of sinful tendencies.  Without God, it is a virtual certainty that we will fail in this area, but there are, unfortunately, too many supposedly Christian homes that fail as well.  When I was growing up, I knew many kids that came from such homes where the Bible was allegedly the guide for all things, but there was very little of the love of Christ in those homes.  The “faith” that their parents were practicing was a strain of legalism that they had arbitrarily cobbled together from the Biblical rules that they did not mind yielding to.  But their hearts were far from God, judging by how harshly and legalistically they treated their children. 

I pray that, if you came from such a home, you would realize that your parents were not following the true morality of love as taught by our Savior and that you would allow God to heal you of that pain.  If you came from a loving Christian home, I pray that you would remember your parents thankfully, knowing that, even if they were not perfect, they did their best as they understood the law of love taught by Jesus. 

 

 


Comments

In life rules and law has great value and it also responsibly of our self. If we read the holy books then which also tell us the rules of law. If we spend our life according to the law and rules. Then we are good human.

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    I'm a retired soldier, having spent 23 years of my life serving our country, actually 30 years when you count the reserve and National Guard time as well.  I believe in servant leaders, following the example of our Lord, and I believe in giving back to the troops once one has attained a certain status or level of success in life.  But I also believe in fighting back against corruption and incompetence wherever you find it if it hurts people.  Our national values were worth dying for.  They are also worth living for.  A man or woman can actually live a life by these principles of humility, service, love, duty, and honor, and have a significant impact on the world around them...if you have the dedication to see it through. 

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