Sunday, July 10, 2011

Never, Never, Never Give Up

As a parent, my mind often travels back to my own growing up years.  So much has changed in the world since then, but one thing I know now that I did not then is that there are a vast number of things we share in common with our children.  I used to look at old black and white photographs of my Mom and try to imagine what she was like, tried to envision our meeting one another in her time or mine, wondering how we might connect.  Would we have been friends in this inconceivable time where she and I both existed as the same age?  I liked to think so.

My relating to my own children has revealed that the parent-child relationship has more to do with who we are, and even who I was, than the differences that have transpired in the world around us since I was their age.  There is a smoke screen purposed to generate the belief and feeling that we have nothing in common and just cannot "get" the other.  It can be very tempting to buy into this and believe the heart-breaking tragedy that tells us there is a natural season of estrangement and even dislike that will one day pass, oh we hope!  All too often, I see parents retreat from the rolling eyes and snarling belittlements in anger and self-protection. Sometimes their eyes meet another parent's, seeking understanding and a confirmation that this is normal.  

As a girl, when I first began perusing the pages of Teen Beat, Seventeen, and the like, I began reading about this 'Generation Gap'.  What they call it now, I have no idea. (I looked it up and couldn't find a clue to its modern day synonym.)  On a summer morning just before I turned thirteen,  I went to my father and joined him on the family room floor where he was reading the newspaper, light streaming in the windows as it only can on a Sunday morning.  I can recall the sound and feel of the paper crinkling a bit where my knees rested on the periphery.  Hesitantly, I reached out in words, expressing my fears for the widening distance the future held for he and I and my great desire for this to not be our fate.  I don't remember what his expression was or how his eyes looked back into mine; he must have been wondering how in the world he'd wound up with such a strange, emotional, and embarrassingly talkative daughter.  I do recall his laughter and quick hug, his somewhat uncomfortable assurances that this was not what would happen to us.  I wished our hug would have lasted longer, as well as our conversation.

We went through our years of chaos.  We began coming out of this wasteland period when I became a young mother and was out there in the world, struggling to be a mommy and wife.  My dad's compassion was reborn for me, and with the years I grew older and wiser as well.  We forgave each other.  We didn't walk away forever and we didn't give up.  Neither did He.  *And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to eternal glory in Christ, will Himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.

I don't know just when the morphing began which told the adults that disrespect from that segment of mankind younger than they was acceptable.  Some say the 60's - and they certainly didn't help.  But I suspect that this has been a lie that has been around for a much longer time.  Whenever one person feels free to look down upon another, nation towards nation, neighbor towards neighbor, brother towards brother, we are wildly off track from reflecting the design for which we were fashioned or the One who created us for so much more than that.  Calling it a Generation Gap just assigns the blame to our age inequalities.  It is our hearts that need to learn how to navigate these years, these times, these differences.  This is a timeless truth.
And when I look into your eyes, mothers and fathers, I am telling you, "Never, never, never give up."

In trying to choose a scripture to offer for this message from my heart, my eyes flew from word to word of the desires for restoration which the Lord calls to us to live into relationally, with Himself and with one another.

**And when all these things come upon you, the blessing and the curse, which I have set before you, and you call them to mind among all the nations where the Lord your God has driven you, and return to the Lord your God, you and your children, and obey His voice in all that I command you today, with all your heart and with all your soul, then the Lord your God will restore your fortunes and have compassion on you and He will gather you again from all the peoples  where the Lord has scattered you.  If your outcasts are in the uttermost parts of heaven, from there the Lord will gather you, and from there He will take you.

Be encouraged...

*I Peter 5:10
**Deuteronomy 30: 1-4

I am sharing this on Domestically Divine, Works For Me Wedsnesdays, and Simple Lives Thursdays.


  1. How could you know my mind today? How did you know I almost wept for a old school friend who was driven to run away from her mother because her mother made her choose between the divorced parents, and she chose her dad. How did you know she mourns her dead father, and her lost relationship with her bitter mother? How did you know that we had this SAME conversation between my brother, my parents and I JUST tonight? That when I ran away with my soon to be foster sister, her from her alcoholic parents, that I had NO REASON to run, that I was just doing this for her sake? That my dad KNEW when I called for a ride home that I was not really running? That his MANTRA to my mom all those years was "don't worry, we did everything we could, they'll come back", and he was RIGHT? That JUST tonight, I said to Liv in the car, "keep your children close to you, so that they always know YOU are their advocate, not their peers?
    You are truly gifted with an intuition only God can use to reach me just when I need it. Bless you!

  2. So many parents I know are struggling with this issue in one form or another, and I know the discouragement that comes with such strife, and the seductive call to just walk away. After all, how much can you be expected to take, this isn't what you signed up for, you deserve better, and this is just too hard. But all of that only leads to broken-ness. It is important that we persevere, not only for our family here and now, but for the example it will be for their futures.

    It's so EASY for our focus to be drawn to just what is going on in front of us, and to not take the time to look at all things through the lens of Christ. He is meant to make a radical difference in our lives. How will that be if we won't even see?

    Press on, my dear friend.

  3. Beautiful!
    and well said..

  4. I so live this post - I have 8 children and 7 of them are between the ages of 12 and 21. I love my teenagers and refuse to blame disrespect on their age! I too refuse to give up - they are at such an exciting and interesting time - I will always be their mom and want what is best for them. If that means they don't like me for a bit I am willing to endure that.
    Wonderful post.