Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Christmas Letter: Returned

Yesterday, I received in the mail a returned Christmas letter. It was from the ex-wife of a childhood friend who was writing to let me know that they were no longer married and he therefore no longer lived at the address. She also pulled back the curtains on their relationship...Apparently he had gotten two different women pregnant and also beat her up some before the divorce. I guess what scares me is that this guy grew up in a pastor's home. How do you grow up one way and then end up in a totally different place? It makes me scared for my own kids. How do I raise them in such a way that I transmit my values to them in a way that isn't overbearing? I know for this guy conservative Christianity was jammed down his throat -- maybe that's the problem. But to let a child simply choose their own path seems a bit too simplistic! I have a sneaking suspicion that this parenting thing isn't as easy as I thought it was before I had my own kids!

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

[Kirt] Don't worry. You've already screwed up your kids. It only takes about a year.

psypsyche said...

The following is a poem by Khalil Gibran called "The Prophet"

And a woman who held a babe against her bosom said, "Speak to us of Children."

And he said:

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, yet 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 not their 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 bows 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 arrows 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 loves also the bow that is stable.
-----------------------------------------------
I hope it tells you something about your qualms about parenthood. You're just going to have to accept the fact that you cannot possibly safeguard them from the consequences of their own actions. The most you can do is to raise them the best you can and to lead a good life that they would like to emulate.

(but what do i know, eh? i'm just a kid)

ryan said...

cuz the dude was prob molested by the pastor...and all religion is is for weak people who have 2 find meaning in their life

Anonymous said...

[JD] I'll have to disagree with the last caller, ryan - but as for parenting, it's about the heart not the rules. I've seen too many kids blindly follow rules only to at some point chuck the rules 'cause they don't have a real relationship with Jesus. Help your kids fall in love with Jesus, that relationship will sustain them. How's that for an easy formula for success. I agree with your last statement, I've got that same suspicion . . . .