I heard a poem recently that touched me and got me thinking about doing what it takes to learn Real Love in parenting, and the principle of sacrifice: giving up something we want now, for something we want more later; or as Merriam Webster put it, “the destruction or surrender of something for the sake of something else.”
As parents, whether we’re thinking about it consciously or not, we all are making this what-will-I-give-up-now, for-what-I-want-more-later decision.
In other words, we’re constantly prioritizing how to spend our precious time, energy and attention.
We’re deciding how much time we will spend learning how to do our job as parents, or, how to fill ourselves up with Real Love so that we can give Real Love to our kids!
Basically, it’s the small decisions we make every day that add up to getting, or not getting, what we really want most in the long run.
One thing is for certain: any time we spend learning to be more loving and skilled parents, at the cost of other activities we could be doing, is going to take us in the direction of long term success at home, and in life.
(By the way, the Real Love in Parenting book is on sale right now!)
Do I Need More Real Love in Parenting Help?
So how do you know if you need more information, better understanding, skills and or help?
Firstly, we can look at our kids.
For instance, we can notice if they are happy, a good portion of the time. Are they often helpful and loving, or does it seem like they’re fighting and whining and unhappy most of the time? Smiling or frowning?
We know that when they are feeling loved, they will most likely be pleasant and eager to share and cooperate, or at least able to accept our kind, gentle, respectful and firm teaching when they show that they need to be taught.
Secondly, we can look at ourselves.
Through the lens of Real Love in parenting, are there things that need to be sacrificed in order to love and teach your kids?
For instance, are there imitation-love-chasing activities (for power, pleasure, praise and safety) that are crowding out your time and still leaving you in need of the Real thing?
In addition, will learning to truly love and genuinely teach require conquering your own anger, frustration and unhappiness, turning those emotions into feelings of contentment, joy and peace? Of feeling unconditionally loved? Yes! And wow, we’re all better off for it!
We Can Do This
Above all, I applaud you for all the conscious decisions and sacrifices you are already making to learn, to practice, and to become the parent you want to be!
In conclusion, the inspiring poem I read was written by Vilate C. Raile (1890-1954) around 1941.
They cut desire into short lengths
And fed it to the hungry fires of tribulation.
Long after when the fires had died,
Molten gold gleamed in the ashes.
They gathered it in bruised palms
And handed it to their children‚
And their children’s children forever.
There is great power in sacrificing desires of lesser importance for the welfare of others, and as parents, it is our blessed privilege.
God bless you!
You might be interested to know, as I was, that Vilate C. Raile also penned these words:
Upon the Cross of Calvary
1. Upon the cross of Calvary
They crucified our Lord
And sealed with blood the sacrifice
That sanctified his word.
2. Upon the cross he meekly died
For all mankind to see
That death unlocks the passageway
3. Upon the cross our Savior died,
But, dying, brought new birth
Through resurrection’s miracle
To all the sons of earth.
Text: Vilate Raile, 1890-1954. © 1948 IRI
Music: Leroy J. Robertson, 1896-1971. © 1948 IRI