If you want to know why kids act the way they do, often you only have to look as far as the parents.
Each of my children, all of whom are grown, reflects some of my quirks and a few of John’s. Our son is laid back with a demeanor of calm that he saw constantly in his dad. All five girls have a drive that motivates them to get the job done, which, often to my chagrin, I encouraged.
In the animal kingdom, family units are also important. Sandhill Cranes, which are native to our part of the country, demonstrate the strength of family. As adults, Sandhill Cranes mate for life, staying together for up to two decades. Typically they have one chick, sometimes twins, and these young stay with their parents for nine to ten months.
These are some of the most annoying birds I’ve ever come across. The squawks they emit are obnoxious. They’re known for their dancing skills, which some see as elegant. It’s also quite intimidating–they’re not afraid of much of anything. I’ve seen grown men run from them if they happen to get in between a parent and their young.
When I saw a family of these massive birds strutting about our parking lot at work, I had to grin. Everyone was keeping their distance–there were two adorable chicks with them. All you had to do was act like you were approaching and they’d come after you.
Parents are as varied as our stories. We all have a tendency to treat our kids at least a little like we were parented.
Not all of us appreciate how we were raised. There are methods of child rearing that are less effective, and some that are positively impactful. As kids, we all had opinions about the job our parents did–or didn’t do.
Children won’t grow to be kind and thoughtful people unless they’re taught. Our natures are such that we will choose what appeals to us in the moment and not necessarily what are good decisions for us.
God knows this about us. He’s a passionate and protective Father–Sandhill Cranes have nothing on Him. He seeks to help us grow in strength and love in Him because He’s invested in who we are.
He created us.
“The Lord is like a Father to His children, tender and compassionate to those who fear Him.” Psalm 103:13.
Fearing God isn’t being terrified of Him. It’s respecting who He is as God and Creator of all. It’s acknowledging His power for us and in us, His commitment to us.
Parenting is hard work. It takes commitment and compassion, diligence and delight.
Sandhill Cranes have the commitment and diligence.
God layers all that with love and compassion.
A faithful Father who pursues us with tenderness.
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