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How much do you love your child(ren)?

on April 20, 2011

Let’s imagine a family. Two parents, and several children, but we’re just interested in one, who we will call Kim Smith (because the child’s gender doesn’t matter*).

When Kim is about 16, there is an argument. It’s really a very big argument, and Kim ends up running away and refusing to see Mr and Mrs Smith for a very long time. Let’s say 5 years. Then Kim realises, somehow, perhaps through one of the other children or a family friend, that it was actually all a misunderstanding, and returns to the family seeking reconciliation.

Now imagine you are Mr or Mrs Smith.

Would you refuse to be reconciled to Kim, your child, after 5 years apart?
How about after 10 years?
20? 30? 50? 70? (We’re assuming everyone involved is still alive.)

Let’s suppose you died and all ended up in heaven. Kim didn’t come back to you before your death, but now your child comes looking for you.

“Oh, sorry,” you say. “It’s too late, you know. You’re dead now. You should have come a bit sooner and we could have been reconciled, but now, no sorry, I don’t want to ever see you again. After all, I have plenty of other children. Ciao!”

(Would you say that? If not, let’s pretend you would for a moment.)

Your spouse, the other Smith parent, disagrees and chooses to be reconciled – and that’s ok with you, of course, as long as you don’t have to be involved.

Now then.
Which of you two parents, if any, is the bigger person? Why?
Which of you, if any, is the more godly** person? Why?
Which of you, if any, is the more loving person? Why?
Which of you, if any, is the more just person? Why?

I will write more about this next week, but in the meantime, my uncle got me thinking about this, so if you’d like to see how, please check out his blog here.

*If you didn’t think “Kim” could be used for either sex, check out Rudyard Kipling’s book of the same name. It’s an excellent read.

**I’m working with a Christian perspective here, but I’d also be interested to hear your reply based on other belief systems if this scenario works within them.


One response to “How much do you love your child(ren)?

  1. I would want to respond as the Father of the Prodigal Son – who threw open his arms in welcome, love and restoration. Isn't that what Jesus taught us to do?

    I don't think it is about being bigger, more just, more godly, or more loving – but I think it is about the true meaning of forgiveness and restoration. Forgiveness is like the crucifixion – sacrificing that hurt and letting the blood of that sacrifice cover the sin to enable one be restored.

    Sometimes, though, you have to let them leave, just like the Prodigal son, so they can return.

    Way to tackle the touch stuff there Mika. I have 5 sons – and the idea of losing one to sin permanently – well, it is like not having all the pieces to a backgammon game. It is not complete.

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