Yesterday, as I was driving to pick up my wife from seeing her last client, I had a random thought burst into my mind. It was a memory from over 30 years ago, reflecting on my childhood, being in the center of a blended family. I suddenly experienced the intense emotion I felt going between my mom and dad’s house. It was strange for me, as I couldn’t understand why or how, after so many years, a simple thought could stir up so much emotion.
The memory I had was of me being around 12-years-old, and I was scheduled to go spend time with my mom, and I didn’t want to go. Now understand, I loved my mom very much and she was a wonderful mom to me. However, at the time, I just remember not wanting to go. So I chose to go and stay with her for only a few short hours, when it should have been the entire weekend.
As I thought about this memory, and why I was remembering the emotion behind it, I felt like God gave me a revelation to a question I’ve asked myself a number of times within my own walk in the blending process, “Why are there times when my kids don’t want to come over?” I felt like God just used my 12-year-old self to provide the answer. As I remembered this specific moment, I remembered not wanting to go to my mom’s house, not because of her or anything she was doing, but because of my own wants. My desires were that I wanted to stay at my dad’s house, where I was comfortable, where all my stuff was, and I could pretty much do whatever I wanted, since my dad worked a lot.
Looking back now at this 12-year-old, I’m amazed at how self-centered and oblivious I was of my choice and how it must have affected my mom. I never thought of how she must have felt as she waited for me with excited anticipation for our time together, only to have her son walk through the door being rude, acting unloving, and downright miserable. All this because I just wanted my way. Now being 44-years old, I know exactly how she felt because…I have felt it too-heartbroken, sad, and disappointed. One thing that stands out vividly, is how she still showed me love, even though I was being the most unlovable.
In sharing this, I hope to encourage you in your walk through blending your family, with a few takeaways from my own journey, thus far:
- Children have a tendency to be more self-centered. Most children are more focused on what they want, and think less of how their choices may affect others.
- As the parent, you can choose to love your children through these tough times. How you choose to respond in these moments will have a lasting impact on your children.
- As challenging as it may be, don’t take it personal. It is unrealistic to think your children can reason or understand as you can.
If you think about it, as God’s children, many of us act in the same manner. We have moments of being self-centered, unloving, and taking things personally. However, He loves us unconditionally, no matter what, always faithful to be there, as the Good Father he is.
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-7