Most parents I know have certain expectations for their children’s lives – they have hopes, dreams, and goals for their children. Some of these goals are educational, some financial, some familial.
The other night, as I tucked my son into bed, we shared the following conversation:
M: Mommy, only boys can be daddies, right?
Me: Yes. Girls are mommies, and boys become daddies. But, you know, boys can also become priests, and then they become dads to a whole bunch of people!
M: But, Mommy, I just want to be… I just want to be…
M: I just want to be me.
Me: Oh, sweetheart, you can just be you. And, that will be okay!
As he fell asleep, I thought about our conversation.
I began wondering about how simple my dreams are for my children at their young age. It’s easy for me to sit here, hoping and wishing they follow Christ and His teachings, and learn to love and defend God with all their hearts and in all their actions.
Yet, I know that life gets hard.
It will get hard for me as they grow up, and are exposed to values and experiences that run contrary to Christian faiths and values.
It will get hard for them, as they are called to defend their own actions and beliefs – either to their peers, or even to their own parents.
It will get hard when they are faced with making choices that they know will impact the lives of themselves, if not others.
I don’t want to shelter them from the trials and tribulations of life – I want them to learn and to choose their course.
As such, Christ is the standard bearer for the virtues of love, acceptance, and mercy. He spoke His mind, and preached the path to the Heavenly Kingdom, even when others didn’t want to hear His words.
He then gave His life for the sake of our souls!
I want my children to know Christ, and to not be ashamed of living out the values and virtues He espoused while on earth.
I want them to be able to defend and uphold their faith, remaining loving, gracious, and merciful.
I want them to have faith in Christ, and to seek Him, and lean on Him when their lives get tough.
And, as my son so innocently queried, I want them to be who they are.