“I LOVE YOU, BUT THAT DOESN’T MEAN I LIKE YOU.”
Many of us have heard this saying; we have either been at the receiving end, giving end, or just the hearing end of this saying. Personally, I have said these words jokingly to either my husband or a friend before. Although some may not take these words offensive, there are always those who take everything, LITERALLY.
LIKING, LOVING, & LABORING- Step 1
Being a mother has its perks. Some days are just my absolute favorites and other days are just too much for me to handle. I have 2 girls and they keep me on my toes or on my bed… (I prefer the latter)
In general, females are HIGH MAINTENANCE. I mean, just think about the time it takes for us to get ready.
A. Long. Time.
Ok, maybe not ALL THE TIME. But the majority of women spend some time doing their hair and putting make-up on. On most days, I wish I had a magic wand to just wave and make myself ready in “no time”.
Many people “enter” parenthood the same way.They read all the books on what to do and what not to do as a parent and expect their child to be just like every other child or like the good ol’ child that was described in some book they read. But reality is we can’t just wave a magic wand and !BOOM! our child is the child we’ve always dreamed of having.
You can read all the books about Parenting and still have a rebellious, disobedient child. It’s not about what you read but about applying what you read.
As a mom, I have to constantly remind myself of 3 things:
- I don’t have to like everything that my child does.
- I still have to love my child even when they’re unlovable.
- Parenting takes work. I labor DAILY, without pay – at least monetary pay… but the rewards of good and consistent parenting will pay off in dividends. (Money can’t even compare!)
As humans, we naturally have likes and dislikes.
I dislike it when my eldest, LG, “bothers” me when I’m doing something. I’m the type of person that has high expectations and expects most, if not all people to have common sense.
Ridiculous, right? Absolutely! I cannot expect something like that just because I have it.
It’s unfortunate because sometimes, I forget that my daughter is only 2 1/2 years old. All her little mind knows and wants is attention – Especially Mommy’s attention.
She just desires Mommy to get off her phone and pay attention to the “imaginary” bed that she made out of legos for her toy princess.
She longs to hear Mommy say, “Wow, Great Job, Baby!” after putting away her toys or sharing with her sister.
She assumes that Mommy is watching her organize her princesses by color and anticipates being praised for the great work and time she put into that organization.
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I could write a list of things that I don’t like my daughters doing, but you probably already get the point. If you were to make a list, we would probably have some similarities.
My point is, as a parent you will always find something that you don’t like about your child’s doings, but we shouldn’t dwell on those dislikes. Rather, we should teach them WHY we don’t like certain things or doings and PRAISE them for the things we do like.
That’s why, we as parents need to set a good example.
Children get enough negativity maybe at school, through television, or through social media. They don’t need more of it AT HOME!
You can decide beginning today…
Instead of seeing the things you don’t like about your child or what he/she does, see the LIKES. You don’t have to like everything he does, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t things to like.
Love doesn’t come naturally to us. We have to work at it. In fact, I see “UNLOVING” all the time – with myself, with my children, with neighbors, with family members, with church members (sad to say), etc.
I wrote a blog entitled, Loving the Unlovable a while back. Every one of us has encountered someone who was unlovable. But we’ve forgotten that BEHIND EVERY UNLOVABLE PERSON is someone who just longs to be loved, cared for, appreciated. I’ve been that kind of person. Not that I had unloving family members; I knew and I know that I have loving parents and siblings, uncles and aunts, cousins; but we just weren’t the type to “SHOW” our love.
We rarely said the 3 important words – I LOVE YOU. In fact, the FIRST time I remember saying those words to my dad was when I was a Freshmen in college!!! (Crazy, right?!?) Now, I say it every time I talk to him, especially since he lives in Michigan.
One way I can explain UNLOVABLE is through my daughter’s actions. This little girl is so special to me! After all, she made me a “Mom!” Over the past two years, I have come to realize the kind of personality she has. She is one of the sweetest little kids I know, maybe not to strangers, but definitely to me and those closest to her. She has such a sensitive and tender heart all wrapped up with a spunky attitude. However, there have been times when she has not been loving, especially to her little sister.
See for yourself…
She has pushed her little sister simply because AJ wanted to play with the same toys she was playing with.
She has “dissed” people who were kind and wanted to just say, “Hi.” (WHY? I’m still trying to figure that out)
She has done “the crying act” to try to get what she wanted. (Doesn’t work with me; maybe with Daddy, but definitely not with me!)
Not surprisingly, but she has officially marked the word “NO” as her favorite word. (I am teaching her that it’s ok to say “No” sometimes… but do so by saying, “No, thank you.”
I’m sure this list could get longer as she gets older, but one thing does not change – the fact that I love her. Regardless of what she does, even if I don’t like it, should not make me LOVE HER LESS. In fact, it should make me LOVE HER MORE. Why? Because, Love covers the multitude of sins.
Jesus demonstrated his love for us on the cross, WHILE WE WERE SINNERS. (Romans 5:8)
—> He didn’t wait for us to change into a better person.
—> He didn’t wait for us to ask for forgiveness.
“His love for us is so immense that even in our darkest and most sinful state, His love will never lessen or cease. ” – JudyLynn Cabal
You can decide beginning today…
I will love my child even when he is unlovable. I will love him simply because God loves me. There will be many times when your child will be unlovable, but those are the times that he needs the most loving.
WORK. A norm in almost everyone’s life. “
One who does not work cannot eat.”
There’s a truth to that quote. Literally, if you don’t put in some work, you can’t eat. (Sadly, here in America people who don’t work are getting access to a lot of “FREE” stuff and the ones that are negatively affected are the ones working —> still boggles my mind!)
Another interpretation, if you don’t work, you will not be able to enjoy the “fruits” of your labor.
Can you imagine giving birth to a child and then just leaving him to himself?
Wow! What if that child was supposed to be the next President of the United States, or the next Best Singer, or the next Preacher, etc.?
People CHOSE to make irresponsible decisions like the one mentioned because they don’t want to take responsibility – responsibility for raising, feeding, clothing, teaching, mentoring, and loving that child.
I can’t imagine myself doing that but sadly it does happen – All. The. Time.
I had a greater respect for my parents once I became a parent. Parenting is a lot of work and it’s HARD WORK. Sure, there are times when it seems like a “breeze” but other times, it seems like the day can’t go any slower.
As parents, we have to keep in mind that we have little humans depending on us FOR EVERYTHING – food, clothes, baths, rides to school, work, or the mall, and eventually, a CAR! (for toddlers – candy, prizes, rewards, etc) Those are the tangible things.
The intangible things – life’s lessons, wisdom, instruction, guidance, praise, happiness, joy, etc.
The Bible says in Proverbs 22:6 – “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”
No doubt, I haven’t been at this parenting thing for long but I’ve seen enough and different kinds of parenting styles that I would like to emulate but also some kinds I plan to avoid.
You can decide beginning today…
I will stick with it. I will be consistent. I will discipline if you have to.
Be their friend but more importantly, be their parent.
No doubt, you will make mistakes, but who doesn’t?
There is NO PERFECT PARENT. You learn along the way and while learning, don’t forget to labor.
By God’s Grace,