My children are my friends

DUSTY TAKLE :::

I’ve often heard said, and even read various memes, about motherhood that promote, “I’m not here to be your friend. I’m here to be your mother.” When I first entered motherhood, I probably would have agreed with those seemingly “tough love” memes.  However, as I enter my twelfth year as a mother, I have realized one of the greatest gifts  I receive in being the mother to my three children is that I also get to be their friend. Yes. I am friends with my nine year old daughter. I understand that those who embrace only the old-school, traditional ways of parenting may cringe at this statement. But, it is truth. We laugh together. We enjoy some of the same things together. We share our lives with each other. Quite simply, I enjoy being with my children. I receive from them just as much as they receive from me. And, that fact alone makes for a beautiful friendship with each of them.

Once I began viewing my children as representations of God in the earth, it changed the way I treat them. It changed the way I receive from them. It changed our relationships. I began speaking with kinder, gentler tones to them. I try hard to avoid embarrassing them by stripping them of their dignity when I do have to discipline them. How I treat them is the same as how I treat God. Because, they ARE God in the earth. Just like you and me.

It is clear throughout scriptures that God is our Father. But, it is also clear that He is our friend. John 15:15 tells us, “Now you are my friends, since I have told you everything the Father told me.” He is our Father. He is our friend.

When we begin to base our relationship with our children on our title of mother or father alone, it is basing it on titular authority. Titular is defined as “holding or constituting a purely formal position or title without any real authority.” Having “authority” over your children by only fulfilling the position of mother or father is really no authentic authority at all. It is simply a dynamic based on fear and the feeling of being “less than” the parent. However, when we develop real relationships with our children, real friendships, we gain the incredible ability to guide them, coach them, and ENJOY them.

As parents, we get to enter a journey where we see God in new ways and where we can develop friendships that will last make our lives richer and that will last forever.

For more of Dusty’s columns, visit her blog at http://www.dustytakle.com. 

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