As much as we all love our kids, they sure can press our buttons, can’t they? I can’t speak for others, but one thing my kids do that drives me insane is act in an ungrateful and entitled manner. Here I am, killing myself to do right by them, sublimating all my needs to make sure they are taken care of, and when I get disrespect and whining and apathy in response, that throws me into a rage.
To be sure, it is important for kids to learn that disrespect and whining and apathy are bad things, and to cultivate attitudes of gratitude, contentedness, and grace. But this post isn’t about where my kids are off, it’s about where I’m off. For it doesn’t take a psychoanalyst to figure out that it is my own deficiencies, and not my kids’, that adds the edge to these episodes. Unhealthy is the parent that needs to be filled up by the praise and recognition of his children, for not only are children not often going to fulfill that role, but that need in the first place speaks of a misguided motivation and identity.
I cannot help but think of a Heavenly Father whose abundant love and mercy is far too often met with whining, sass, and outright defiance on my part. How patient He is with me! And, how secure He is in His actions and attitudes, not set off by my ungrateful countenance. Well do we fill up on such a love, that we might love in the same way, free to be spent in love and not require anything in return.