The other day, my husband sent a text message to my daughter. It was a photo of a perfect meal for one set on an outdoor table, to which she replied, “Mmmm, I want some!” His passion and talent for food prep developed later in life.
He responded that nothing would make him happier than if she joined him for dinner.
Seeing as she lives in Las Vegas and he in New York, they couldn’t easily share an impromptu back porch meal together, but it got me thinking. She seems like his most favorite person in the world.
Some wives may take issue with that, but considering our circumstances, it brings me joy. You see, I look at my daughter and believe she inherited the best qualities I could have passed on to her – and thankfully, not many of the ones I wouldn’t have wanted to.
Both of my children are uniquely their own – borrowing qualities from their parents and carving their own way simultaneously. But as with my daughter, my son happened to inherit a few of his dad’s best qualities. Being in his company often reminds me of spending time with my husband when we first met. He was always easy to be around, embodying the kind and gentle nature that first attracted me to him.
As parents, I don’t think we could have loved our kids any more than we did. I was personally accused of over-loving them – you know, Italian-mother-smothering kind of love. To this day, my kids will exasperatedly admit to others just how much I love them. Nonetheless, I consider my mission complete that they are so secure in our love for them.
In raising our children, we trusted God to fill in where we fell short. His immeasurable love in giving up His only son for us was the perfect model of parental sacrifice and unconditional love we could have followed. We did our best to emulate His example, though at times, our human condition stunted our efforts.
In addition to loving our children, we exercised discipline. Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” I am simply amazed at the truth of King Solomon’s advice. When discipline is rooted in love, the reward and fruit of that practice will remain from childhood and beyond.
On the other hand, when there is no training or structure, when there is abuse or discord, the results of that rearing can remain deep-seeded within an individual and often times reveal their damage later in life. Something we experienced first-hand. Proverbs 22:5 “Thorns and snares are in the way of the perverse; He who guards his soul will be far from them.”
Through no fault of his own, a child who grows up in a family of abuse, may not fully escape the effects of mistreatment. We thank God that my husband did not become an abuser, as often is often the case with children who experience such tragedy, but it did afflict him to a degree. Though he dealt with the pain of his childhood experiences, bringing it out into the open and choosing to forgive, it crept back into his life, eventually robbing our family of some of the fruit we’d worked so hard to harvest.
My husband and I remain married, but have been separated for quite sometime. I’ve always loved him, but couldn’t give him what he needed or repair what he experienced as a child. That which I do not understand, I leave with God in prayer. Now, as he chooses to be in my daughter’s company over anyone in the world, I am grateful that our love and discipline as parents was rewarded through our children. For all that I could not be for my husband, I find comfort that he can enjoy the best of me through her.