Thursday, May 17, 2012

THE GOOD FIGHT

Have any of you all ever felt like parenting is a battle, especially adoptive parenting? I hesitate to use the metaphor because it sounds so negative. If you've read our blog for a while, you know that we are full of the wonder and the joy, and the HOPE at this opportunity of being parents to our children. As I said in my last post, there is nothing I would rather be doing! At the same time, sometimes I feel our role as parents is a fighting role. This is not a soft, sweet, tender image of parenting. No, being a warrior parent conjures up images of violence, battle, death and destruction. 

Yes, there are times when it is clear to me that a fight is what I am in. 

I better not go any farther with this until I make it clear that this fight I am talking about is not against our children. By no means! I am speaking of a Good Fight. There is a Good Fight that you and I participate in. The bible calls it the Good Fight of Faith. In 1Timothy 6:12 Paul exhorts Timothy to,

Fight the good fight of the faith.

That puts the battle metaphor in a different light, doesn't it? Not only am I not fighting against my child, I am not fighting from some precarious position, fueled by fear and uncertainty. This is such good news! 
My battle is to Believe. This is my fight. In the face of an epic toddler fit, an exaggerated teen rebellion, oppositional behaviors, or a thick wall of an adopted child's "victim mentality",  this warrior parent takes up her weapon of destruction-- Faith. Indeed, destruction often is what is needed. Not the destruction of our child, but the destruction of that which binds and prevents freedom.

Because of what Jesus did on the cross, we parents don't fight FOR victory; we fight FROM victory! The outcome of the battle for our children's wholeness and success is already determined. You and I 
are assured of VICTORY! Ours is simply to believe.

I love the image of a boxing ring that the the folks at The National Center for Biblical Parenting use when describing those tense moments when even the best of us might get confused about who our opponent is. I will confess to you that there have been times when my emotions are so provoked-- sometimes by my own anger, or by my fear of what will happen if we don't "get a handle" on a particular behavior, or by a deep disappointment that after all this time we are still dealing with a long-lived negative behavior-- that I find myself in the very disturbing position of feeling as if it is "Me Against Him, or Her". Oh how I hate that feeling! But there it is. As soon as I realize that I am positioned in wrong opposition to my child I picture a boxing ring. There I am, gloves on, facing my child, ready to do battle. 
I turn away, climb under the ropes, and walk around to his side of the ring. I am on his side. I am for him-- coaching him along to more freedom, deeper healing, better behavior. The battle is raging, mind you. The adrenaline is pumping and I'll stop at nothing less than victory, but now I am fighting alongside my child. Waging the good fight of faith on his behalf. My words are ones of encouragement, "You can do this. I know who you are-- you are strong enough to face this issue. You are amazing and we are with you in this. We want what you want-- freedom, independence, peace......"

As we do this, we communicate to our child that whatever the issue is that is causing them such distress (and us too!), they are not alone. And we face the fight with them from the amazing position of VICTORY. We are assured that in Jesus, the victory has already been provided for. We train our child in Faith as we fight that Good Fight.  

Father God, we choose to believe You for each of the situations that are concerning us right now. We enter this battle with our eyes on you! Thank you Lord. We choose to believe, despite what we are seeing with our eyes. We apply our Faith to the situation, like healing medicine to a wound. Thank you God that our child is whole and free in You. We believe it! 


6 comments:

  1. Our children are worth fighting for! Even Jesus "fought" on behalf of the children, that they would not be hindered! Great encouragement for the battle weary!

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  2. Beautiful--thank you for this amazing reminder! Brought me to tears this morning after a particular rough last day or two with my little guy, but especially this morning. When I left him at preschool, he planted a huge kiss on me. He said, "that's a SUPER kiss because I SUPER love you". Brought me to tears that even after an all out battle this morning, that's how he chose to say good-bye. Their hearts are worth rescuing and fighting for!

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    1. What a sweet kiss that was! So glad this post brought some encouragement. We moms sure need it sometimes don't we?

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  3. Thank you for this, Beth! Every time I read this blog I feel uplifted, encouraged, and re-energized to "fight the good fight!" As I was reading this I could hear my precious almost-2-year-old having her own little tantrum outside with her siblings...thank you for reminding me that I am never fighting against her, but always WITH her. You and Susan are so precious to me as I walk this road of adoptive parenting! Thank you!!

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    1. Ashley, how encouraging for us to hear that our blog is such a blessing to you. That is exactly why we write, and it is so good to know! I also have loved that boxing ring analogy. Ever since I read it I have used it when needed and it has really helped me. Nothing like a two year old tantrum!! Bless you and your precious family!

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