My favourite time is family time. Whenever I’m home, I enjoy the company of my wife and two daughters. My first born, Sumera, is every energetic, always in for a good laugh with her dad. My second, Ariana, can’t stay away from me for more than two minutes; she is the reason why I can’t do any work at home. If I’m home, she claims every second of my time and she’s right to do that. My kids mean the world to me. I’m convinced that one of the reasons why God has allowed for a lot of us to have children in our lives is to let us experience what He is going through with us. What sort of things we put Him through in dealing with us. In the end, we’re all children which is why I’m not surprised that the Bible uses the analogy of a child to describe us on numerous occasions. This is not to say that those who do not have children, or have chosen not to have children, are for some reason missing out. I would not agree with such an over-simplistic statement. You can gain experience, develop, mature and learn from far more than only children.
But children will have your world be put upside down. It starts with the firstborn. Your whole rhythm is interrupted. Planning on going out for diner with your wife? Well, it requires you to do preparations that will take at least one hour before you’re ready to leave the door. And many, many more changes to your time when you didn’t have them. But you naturally adjust to these changes with love. In this stage, you don’t have a problem with these demands. I even enjoy this present phase. However, what I’m worried about is what will happen when they reach the phase between puberty and young adulthood. That’s the phase in which they can really, really put my life upside down by the choices they will make. For if they make the wrong choices, that will turn my life upside down in a way that will keep me awake at nights. The pain I will feel will make me a terrible person to have around. Strangely how this may sound, if it were the case that they made wrong choices I still think that God gave them to me in order for me to know what I put Him through. The pain might be unbearable, but it will force me to reflect on myself. Where did I go wrong with them? Could I have done something different? Was I too strict? Could I have listened more to them? Was my problem that I don’t listen? Was I more focussed on the “R” of rule, rather than the “R” of relationship? All these questions come up automatically, whatever person you are and, if you are humble enough, the pain will bring you to the Lord’s feet.
Of course, your children’s poor choices are not the only thing that will have your lives turned upside down. There are many more factors that can do that. Financial problems, employment problems, health problems, social problems (friendships), problems at church and so on. Those are but a grasp of issues that can ruin the peace of your life and will ultimately bring the believer at the feet of the Creator.
The good news is that at His feet, you may start over again. It is at His feet where you do the following when your lives are turned upside down: 1. Reflect on your personality, and 2. Try to see the lesson you can learn from the situation. Follow these two steps, and your pain might become a blessing for the remainder of days you have left on this earth. As for our children? The Bible already has a lesson for us in terms of the attitude we need to have towards them in Luke 15:11-32.