It is a hard one and at the time that I posted it there was a huge chasm of division between my children and myself. When anything like that particular time of division happens in my life, the immediate reaction that I have is to blame myself. My classic reaction was (notice I say was, in the past tense), when a disaster happened I would wonder what I had done wrong, what I could have done differently or what I could do to fix things. In other words, I was the classic co-dependent/enabler.
A couple of facts about enabling and enablers, enabling is very self-centered. Even though we are “helping” those who need God’s grace and deliverance in their own lives and our actions have the superficiality of being unselfish, we are helping because of selfishness in our hearts. The “helping” comes from that need inside of ourselves to escape the pain or sorrow that we feel because we are trying to anesthetize the pain in our own hearts. We do it or did it to relieve our own pain not really for the best interests of the other person/or people. Yes, we enablers are very selfish and self centered, thinking that the world revolves around us.
Enablers are very egotistical in their thinking, in our minds we take the power away from God to perform miracles and decide that we can somehow fix people better and quicker than God ever could.
There is a saying in Al Anon…it is called the 3 C’s… We did not cause the problem, can’t control the problem and can’t it. It is not until we face these cold, hard facts about ourselves that we can start to recover from the dance of codependency. Loving someone in an emotionally healthy way involves loving them unconditionally and allowing them to figure out how to fix their own problems.
Now I look at the above paragraph (We need to teach our Daughters…) that I posted onto Pinterest a lifetime ago. I see that unless one is living in perfection, there is really no way to realistically accomplish the high expectation that it demands.
One can teach their children these words/phrases and the differences in the characteristics of these stereotypes of people, but how do children really learn? They learn more from the examples that we set before them than the actual learning of the meanings of these words.
I would say that this is something to strive for in the everyday living of our own lives. These high expectations are something that can be accomplished through trial and error. This is definitely something to set as a goal for ourselves.
Those of us who are blessed enough to have a husband who has a portion of these qualities can strive to be the example that is needed.
But what if we married someone who does not have any or all of these qualities?? The world that we live is a fallen one. Maybe we married him before we knew that these qualities in a husband, man, father were important for peaceful, healthy, Godly living? Do we divorce the man and try all over again? Hard question, huh?
That’s when prayer comes in, a lot of prayer. That’s when we take each part of this statement and teach the meanings of every phrase to our children, boys and girls alike, but then as we are teaching them, we consistently pray for these things to ring true in the example that we are to our children AND we pray that our children store these things in their hearts with the assistance of the Spirit of God.
On top of all of this, there is still the possibility that no matter how hard we try or how perfect of a parent that we think that we are being, one or more of our children are going to have to go through that “School of Hard Knocks” that some of us had to go through in order to learn the hard lessons. Sadly, some will really have the things we are trying to teach them penetrate their hearts only as they go through life and live through them.
At the imperfect place where I was during my children’s formative years I know now that I could not have taught my children these things perfectly. I would like to think that there are some things that I was able to imprint upon their hearts, but I am not going to beat myself up any longer for not doing everything perfectly.
I am at a much healthier place now and the proof is that I now know that I still could not teach this to any child perfectly. Not even if I started all over again at this parenting thing knowing now what I did not know then.
So until I post again!
Love, blessings and keep looking to and trusting in Jesus!