Who do we respect and why?
This question forms in our head, subconsciously or not, at an incredibly young age.
We find ourselves as chubby cheeked toddlers debating as to who we answer to, who we will hug, what food we will actually swallow and what we will defiantly spit on the floor.
Some kids out-grow the subtle rebellion much faster than others; and some never seem to learn.
From that moment on, as we grow, we continue this mental debate.
Do I respect this person or not?
We form our opinions, and as each ideal we posses gradually determines who we become, we begin to judge others by our own standards.
We base our decisions of respect on who we feel has earned it, who deserves it, but one thing is true: as a parent, my choice of how my children are raised will always be my choice.
Unless a person is neglecting or endangering their children’s well-being, I don’t believe that should be questioned.
Maybe it’s not how you would raise them.
Maybe it’s not a choice you understand.
Maybe it’s something you disagree with.
None of that matters.
God made each of us different, as humans and therefore as parents. I
I believe that’s why the bible doesn’t have a specific book called “God’s Guide to Parenting,” because there is no manual or formula that will work with each and every child.
God gave us a few basic guidelines for parenting, and left the rest for Him to reveal to us as we seek His face, on a situation by situation basis.
I believe God did that intentionally, to keep us completely reliant on Him for wisdom and guidance on the many issues we were bound to face as parents.
He entrusted us with these beautiful little ones to raise up and lead, the privilege to help mold them into the individuals they will become. He didn’t give my kid’s to you, He gave them to me, for a reason.
Respect me enough as a person to acknowledge that you aren’t perfect, because you surely aren’t God, so you don’t have all the answers. If I have personal conviction about something, don’t try to undermine me, behind my back or to my face.
Every parent believes they are a good parent, that doesn’t make it true, but it does make it so there are a lot of overbearing individuals in the world.
It’s humbling to realize that in the end, until you are me, in my same situation with my child, you don’t know what you would do. You may think you do, but there is no guarantee that it would work.
As I write this, it’s a slap on the wrist to myself too. We all do the judgement thing, on some level, when the funny thing is we have no right to even have an opinion unless asked for it.
The bottom line is, treat others the way you would want to be treated: with compassion, understanding and the love of Christ.