Monday, November 9, 2015

Lessons about God from parenting

I've had a lot of thoughts about things going on in my church lately. Tonight while I was making dinner (for what seemed like hours), I came up with this comparison which I think makes sense. When I read what was going on I was alarmed, but when I read the reasons why, I understood. I realize that it isn't that way with a lot of people. I'm not one to push things on facebook or to engage in commentary where I know that neither side is really looking to budge. But if I were giving advice to a friend with questions, this is what I would say.:

I think God wants us to be parents so that we can better understand Him and His role as God. So many situations of parenting can help us understand the choices He has to make and the role he plays in our lives. So, here goes.

Let's say you've had a really long day. There was so much on your list to do and you had to haul your kids through 3 counties to do it. Right before bedtime you hear your youngest daughter scream. You turn around just in time to see your oldest daughter hitting her sister on the back with a fly swatter----for the second time! And then she winds up for a third swing! You. Lose. It. This is the last thing you need. You yell at your child, she tries to explain why she did it, but you'll hear none of it. You saw what happened, no explanation is needed, and she has to go to bed RIGHT NOW.

Later that night you're still mad. Why would she hit her sister? You google it. You read articles on sibling rivalry, articles written by people who were picked on by siblings, articles about how to parent better, articles on why it's okay that children fight, articles on why it's not okay for children to fight. It's still hard to figure out what to do. You post it on your facebook page: Why do my kids fight all the time? Your friends all have their own theories. After a while you check off your to-do list for the day and start to feel bad about your reaction with your daughter. She was so good all day. She was patient while you ran endless errands, she cleaned her room, and she did her homework without being asked. Out of a hundred actions that day, this ONE was not okay, and you chose to focus on that instead of all the good. Before you go to bed you flip through Instagram. You happen to look at your own personal pictures. You see the last three or four years of the ways you celebrated your daughter and her accomplishments. Your heart warms. SO many good experiences and memories. She is good! She will turn out after all.

The next morning, when you've both slept on it, you ask her what was going on last night. Why in the world was she hitting her sister? “Mom,” she explains, “there was a spider on her back!” Well, that makes sense at least. You respond that it's not what you would have personally chosen to do, but you can see why she did it.

Maybe this decision is like that. You don't get it. It caught you off guard. You were so angry and didn't understand. But then you remembered all of the great experiences you've had with the church. Prayers that were answered. Blessings that healed and comforted. The feeling you have in the temple---the really good one that doesn't happen every single time. The feeling you had when you were sealed to your spouse. The day your baby was blessed. The day grandma died or you miscarried your baby and you suddenly understood why forever mattered so much. Scriptures that have changed you. Your patriarchal blessing that has outlined your life in ways you couldn't imagine when you were 14. The temple marriage that you want for your children. The prayer you prayed all night long that was answered miraculously. You knew it when you were 8. You knew it when you were 18. You have 99 reasons to love the church, and this one leaves you wondering. The answers aren't on google. They aren't in dozens of bloggers or facebook comments. The answer is found simply by asking The One who created all of this. He'll tell you why, and he's told you why through prophets. And even if it's not what you would have personally chosen to do, His answer does make sense. Go with that and love the 99 other reasons because they are SO good.

1 comment:

  1. Great minds think alike- I've had similar thoughts. There are a lot of commandments that don't make sense: the conflicting commandments to Adam and Eve to not eat of the tree but to multiply, Nephi being commanded to kill Laban and lie about being him when that's breaking two of the ten big commandments. This commandment isn't about logic, it's about faith. Not blind faith, but conversing with God faith.