Last week my oldest son told me while we were standing around in the kitchen, “You are a pretty good dad, but I wish you were a little nicer.”
This made me laugh. Lucas is a talented and tough negotiator. There is little doubt in my mind that he could represent the International Brotherhood of Teamsters some day. And, I am sure he was being honest when he said that I am not always nice.
I admit that I have a temper that gets away from me now and then, but his comment had more to do with recent disappointment in not getting what he wanted than it did with me not being nice.
In any case, being nice is not my job as a parent. Friendship destroys the parent/child relationship. Friends are equals. When a parent and child start behaving as equals chaos and misery, for everyone, soon follow.
My job as a parent is to love my children. Love is teaching my children. Love is being patient with my children. Love is listening to my children and showing them affection.
Love is often saying no to my children and disciplining them, sometimes at the risk of making them angry with me or causing great disappointment in their lives. When this happens in our home I sometimes think my heart will stop, literally, but what my children learn is more important than what they temporarily think about me.
God has blessed me with two amazing boys. In the kitchen Lucas wrapped his arms around me, shut his eyes, and said, “I love you daddy.” I know he does. And, I love him and his brother more than life.
... Father, thank You for Your son. Thank You for the gift of children. Let us never take them for granted. Father, we cannot raise them without Your love and help. Give us the courage to be good parents. In Jesus name ...