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Love Is Separateness

It is a new year and there are so many goals that could and should be made. The one that should rise to the head of the class is how you impact your kids. This is the only legacy that really makes a difference in your overall plan for your Estate. Even if you blew it while raising them, you will always have a shot at impacting their lives. Never give up! I know with my own kids I have hope that they will come around and see that following Jesus is not just “for older people who don’t have a clue“.

 

I was reading Scott Peck’s classic A Road Less Traveled and he talks a lot about our children and how we try very hard to make our kids like ourselves. We as parents generally do, in fact, fail to appreciate the unique individuality of our children and instead regard our children as an extension of ourselves.  It’s in the same way as our fine clothes, neatly manicured lawns, and our polished cars are extensions of ourselves which represent our status to the world. How sad, but how true. You might want to call this a mild form of parental narcissism.

 

I think that Kahlil Gibran in his best seller, The Prophet, addresses perhaps the finest words ever on child raising. See if you agree:

Your children are not your children.

They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for

itself.

They come through you but not from you,

And though they are with you, they belong not to you.

 

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,

For they have their own thoughts.

You may house their bodies but no theirs souls,

For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you

cannot visit, not even in your dreams.

You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make

them like you.

For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bow from which your children as living

arrows are sent forth.

The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,

And He bends you with His might that His arrow may

go swift and far.

Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;

For even as He loves the arrow that flies, so He love also

the bow that is stable.

 

Scott Peck says, “the difficulty that humans so generally seem to have in fully appreciating the separateness of those who they are close to interferes not only with their parenting but with all their intimate relationships, including marriage.” The purpose and function of our children, as well as our spouse, is to grow to be capable and fully alive, not for our benefit but for their own benefit and the glory of God.

 

Our marriage should be the base camp of our children’s adventure up the mountain of life. It is not necessary for us to travel with them. They will come back when needed. We can communicate with them on the journey and answer a lot of tough questions starting with, “in my experience”, rather than “you should” … As long as you are not recognizing and verifying your children’s feelings, you will be paralyzing them to not being able to recognize and accept and hence manage their own feelings. How prevalent that is today for people of wealth and those that think that a close family means hovering over their children with constant advice and bailing them out of any problems they may face.

 

The best legacy you can leave your children is to respect their individuality or otherness.  Are you generally concerned about your children or do you feign concern? Do you ask them lots of questions in order to understand them and appreciate their discoveries even if they are different than your own? Do you praise their achievements no matter what they are? Do you spend the time to understand their field of study and their life work? Do you take joy in their plan for their children, again, even if it is different than how you raised them?

 

Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;

For even as He loves the arrow that flies, so He love also

the bow that is stable.

 

 

 

 

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joe-sturnioloBy Joe Sturniolo
Christian Family Legacy and Wealth Planning
Joe believes that stronger families are the vehicle God uses to bring about significant impact for His Kingdom.

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