Last night there was a movie on television about a boy who recently discovered his father and was getting to know him after 10yrs of being apart. For whatever reason or another, circumstance had prevented them from being in each others lives until fate brought them together.
Throughout the film, despite a rocky reunion, I noticed that the son was constantly searching for a father that he could look up to and respect as his dad. He wanted someone that he could be proud to come from. I've noticed this same pattern with women. They generally don't want someone to take care of as much as they want a man that they can look up to with pride and respect. Self-respecting people want to be around people that they respect.
If it was somehow possible to choose the characteristics of the ideal parent that one wishes they had, would they measure up to one's actual parents?
Would you measure up to the ideal that your children have of you?
I think we're all human beings with weakness and imperfections, and as a running joke in our family my father likes to tease, "just wait till you have kids, then payback!"
We don't get to choose our parents, but we do get to choose what kind of people we grow to be. If we are fortunate enough to become parents, then what kind of parent would our children be proud to look up to and respect?
Are we being that person? If not, are we being fair with our parents? If we could somehow communicate with our future children what kind of mother or father would they want us to pick for them? Short, tall, skinny, fat, handsome, pretty, mean, kind, funny, somber, intelligent, resourceful, dull, unimaginative, faithful, adulterous, modest, vain, healthy, gluttonous, charming, desperate, weak or strong?
The movie goes on to feature boxing competitions and gambling. When the chips were down (so to speak) the father asks to borrow money from a friend who replies, "I love you as a person, but you're not a good bet". I think this cut through to the father's character of playing a derelict dad and sets him on a path to regaining some of his lost credit. I think we all have our character flaws, but if we are to have a chance at redemption we must become worthy of being reliable.
I think an interesting thought is that maybe God the Father was lonely being the creator of the Universe and so he created us, His children and imbued our souls with the ability to love (which can only truly exist within the confines of free will). As His children we were given the ability to create life ourselves in order that we too could understand and experience this unique kind of love. At first we were dependent on the love and care of our parents until we reached a point where we could not only care for ourselves but our children as well. A truly rare and unique gift of conscious awareness.
Both Fathers and Mothers play quite a role in the development of their children's lives. They provide the framework for confidence, self-esteem, and independence. Children tend to model God after their fathers. Children who come from strained relationships with their fathers often have strained relationships with faith. Mother's are important as well as they are probably the closest most children will ever come to understanding unconditional love (Although Grandparents might be a close second).
If we got to choose our Creator, I'm sure "The Great I Am" would surpass all expectation. Among all the other animals on this planet, it's clear that He chose us to be his favored offspring.
We may not get to choose our parents but we do get the choice of who we wish to be in a child's life; a parent, a protector, a mentor, a guide, or a corrupter, an abuser, a derelict, or an unreliable bet. To some it will be to their own children, to others it might be to adopted children, nieces, or nephews, and yet still to some it could be in the form of a unique relationship. I believe we are called to be "chosen" and that means being someone worthy of pride, love, and respect (a faithful bet).
The Parent, The Child, and The Holy Spirit, Amen.
A rainbow in the sky:
So was it when my life began;
So is it now I am a man;
So be it when I shall grow old,
Or let me die!
The Child is father of the Man;
And I could wish my days to be
Bound each to each by natural piety.
― William Wordsworth