By Donald F. Ames
Someone once said that the sad thing about being a parent is that by the time you finally got some experience, no one wanted to listen to your advice. I suppose all of us, as parents, have made our share of mistakes in the process of rearing our children, and have probably learned from them while trying to also guide their steps and lives in the direction God instructed us (Prov. 22:6; Eph. 6:4; etc.).
We have probably also looked at the problems of child rearing, and wondered if it was really worth it and why we even cared (though deep down inside we knew it was and that we did care, and felt some day it would indeed pay off). There have been times of great pride in our children, and times when our hearts have bled for them. And, then, there have been times we have probably honestly asked ourselves if any of the effort was ever actually appreciated. Sometimes when we feel we have tried our hardest, we feel disappointment and/or even outright rejection in their response. Still, because we care and love them, we keep on trying. And then sometimes the unexpected happens to show us indeed it was all worth it. Yes, probably many of us need that bit of encouragement now and then.
Recently I received a card from my oldest son, with the following note penned on the back. I read it with tears in my eyes and pride in my heart. I share it, not to embarrass him, but to encourage other parents in the process of raising their children too. (And, young people, if you are reading this, why not take a hint?)
I realize now that I’m gone that there have been several things I’ve taken for granted. One is all the love, patience, and sacrifice you gave for me, even in times when I could of cared less and even when I didn’t want it. But now when I look back, I don’t think you could do better with me. I’d even say you did a pretty good job in the long run. So, remember when you face those times with ________, he’ll appreciate you for it later, and love you even more. So I’d just like to take this valentines day to say “Thanks, and I love you.”
(Thanks, son, that made it all worth while!
– Love, Dad).
Guardian of Truth XXVIII: 11, p. 343
June 7, 1984