We are all told that some children are “harder” than others. What does this mean exactly? I have come to understand that we all have a way that we want our children to be. A final product that we want them to become. This usually coincides with our viewpoint of success and acceptability. And some children are easier to mold, shape, and yes, modify externally in this desired result than others. And so we get the labels of “easy” children and “difficult” children. What if the goal is not to modify a child into our own vision of what a child should be? What if that is, in fact, impossible anyways? The all-powerful God, of the Bible, seemed to have a different plan for HIS children. It was to win their hearts with his love. And for this goal there were no difficult children, or no easy children. At least no more difficult or easy than anyone else. Because his success was not defined by the behavior of the objects of his love. It was defined by his love itself.
Some children are more difficult for me to love than others. But the more I have looked into it the more I have come to accept that this has more to do with my inability to unconditionally love than it does the “quality” of the child. I will say this in a different way: the behavior of a child has nothing do with with our ability to love them. And with the goal of, loving as we have been loved, we can have succes with every child. Labels like “difficult”, “easy”, “good”, and “bad” will disappear. And they will be replaced by labels like “valuable” and “lovable”. As we are reminded that we are valuable, not because WE were good, but because we were valued. And we are lovable, not because WE were “easy”, but because we were loved.
IMAGE: My friend Jodie’s tattoo “..and they were lovely because he loved them.”