Kids and the Love of God

Reading Time: 4 minutes

By Chana Rosenblatt

What if we are reading it all wrong?

What if God is actually our loving, caring Father in Heaven who is not looking to hurt us and cause us pain but actually loves us, cares for us and is looking out for us? 

What if God has a point, has something he is trying to share with us, show us; but we are so busy freaking out that we are just not hearing what He’s saying?

When my son spends too much time wasting away on his phone, I say wasting away not because he isn’t having so much fun spending hours talking to friends and playing fun interactive games and watching funny and entertaining things online…. I say wasting away because I see SO much more on offer for him in his life, I see incredible talent, care, potential,  contribution, creativity… but I see it all being wasted away as he spends yet another hour looking in the wrong direction.

As parents, we were given a job, a job of a great and higher calling; I think the most respectable and loftiest job you can get. We get to partner with God Almighty to assist, help guide, nurture, care for, protect and educate little souls as soon as they come into this world and as they go through their little journey of life. 

What an incredible privilege! What an honour! What a job!!!

Our job is not to make ‘our’ kids happy. I say ‘our’ because they don’t really belong to us… they are God’s children, given to us for a long or short while as a gift, a privilege, an opportunity,  a responsibility… we go into partnership with God almighty, master of the universe to assist this little soul on its journey….

This little soul is born very well equipped, able, capable, wise, resilient, strong, courageous, brave, talented, creative, able, resourceful….. and so much more.

Our job is to help that little soul grow to know, understand and appreciate how well equipped it really is… draw goodness and greatness out of it, share with it what we know, what we have seen and learnt as we have been on our journey in life and, at times, try to guide it and perhaps show it the possibility of another way.

So, when I take my son’s phone away and in his mind I’m taking his whole universe away…

or if my younger son wants 7 bars of chocolate for breakfast and I say no, they might well believe that I have taken every bit of happiness they ever had away from them….

But maybe, just maybe, I see more than he is seeing at this moment in time. Maybe my vision and experience and knowing is a little greater than his… 

Perhaps it looks to me like if he continues to be on his phone all day and all night each and every day, he will be missing the point…

Perhaps my son isn’t seeing that eating seven bars of chocolate for breakfast every day might have an ill effect on him.

So maybe, just maybe, God, our loving father sees something that we are not seeing also…. maybe what looks really harsh to us and upsetting to us is something very different than what we see.

Perhaps if we stop the rant and panic, take a step back, and LISTEN… really listen, quietly and carefully, curiously and thoughtfully…. perhaps we might hear something useful, be open to seeing something that might be a little invisible to us at this moment in time…. 

Perhaps God, our caring and loving father sees something in us, some potential, possibilities that we are not appreciating and taking advantage of??!!

I’ve taken a step back, I’m open, I’m listening, carefully and thoughtfully, looking at myself, my own life, my husband, ‘our’ children, our family, our community, our world… 

Perhaps there is actually a gift here, a message, some learning, 

We need to stop the fight, the worry, the anxiety, the devastation…

We need to stop, be open,  listen and take another look…

what looks harsh to us might be one of our greatest gifts… 

I am looking forward to taking a step back because it looks like God means business this time. He is not going to give my son his phone back or his 7 bars of chocolate so quickly… 

It looks like I need to get on board and so I am looking forward to doing so…

I’m trying to listen better, stop what I am doing, take another look… carefully, curiously and thoughtfully…

I am already seeing God’s point a little, I have some ideas of what he might be trying to tell ME, which might not be the same for you. I am excited to take a step back and look some more and start to make the changes and look in a new direction. 

I see hope and possibility, I see a glimpse of a better world, more perspective, changes in family dynamic, potential for closer relationships, simpler ways of life, more stability, less running, a chance to connect more with myself and others, a chance to slow down, do less, be more, connect, educate, nurture, care, support, guide and love…. 

I pray that we are all able to listen quicker so that we can learn…

Ultimately, I want my son to have his phone and some chocolate; perhaps when he understands I’m not being harsh, just trying to guide him to a better life, he will learn to find a better balance – and perhaps he might even thank me for doing so. Although that’s a lot to ask for.

Hashem doesn’t want to hurt us and kill us off, he wants us to have a nice life, enjoy his world and live…. but, for our sake alone, he wants us to LIVE not just look like we are living.

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