I am so grateful to my dad who whispered, “Live your own life, don’t worry about what other people think.”
It was a permission slip to live life free from the opinion of others.
Living a life according to the opinion of others is like chasing the wind it is meaningless.
When my kids were little and I was a new mum people freely gave me their opinion.
“You know what pastors kids are like! They really struggle to turn out well.”
So kids of other professions don’t struggle to turn out well!
The opinion of the day was that being a pastors kid equalled struggle.
I found the opinion quite ludicrous.
I looked around me and could see gardeners kids having issues, lawyers kids having issues, doctors kids having issues.
But I never heard the statement, “Oh, they turned out that way because they were a gardener’s kid. What do you expect! They shouldn’t have put pulling weeds in spring and doing the extra time to get people’s gardens under control first.”
There were so many pastors who were trying to please the opinion of other people in raising their kids. They were trying to prove that their kids were perfect, together and not a problem at all. I watched the fatigue, the trying to change themselves to please every little thing people had to say. I would ask them questions and find they had moved so far from their calling all because of the opinion of others. They were trying to live for the opinions of others and in the process living dissatisfied lives.
I realised early on that the opinion of others wasn’t going to define us or our kids.
That I was not going to allow people’s opinions to be a substitute for God’s opinion.
Maybe the issue isn’t the profession but rather the bending to opinions.
When you listen closely you can see the power of opinions on all sorts of parenting.
Single mums have faced similar opinions. “What do you expect they come from a single home.”
A child experiencing rejection by a parent is labelled as, “What do you expect they were rejected.”
When we allow someone else’s opinion to define us we allow that person to be a substitute for God.
As young parents we decided that we were going to parent listening to God’s opinion.
We have found a restfulness in parenting under God’s opinion.
God’s opinion exists and overrides all professions, circumstances or situations.
His opinion isn’t meaningless.
God made my kids, he is for them.
He loves them as much as the cook’s kid and wants the very best for their life.
This is what I’ve learned … that parenting is very rest full when we believe the promises and notes of positivity to our kids.
So my kids are now all young adults and are a joy to my heart.
They are not perfect but live present.
They are gifted, talented, called and living whole hearted lives.
They are neither settled or wild but becoming.
Like the rest of us who are living and breathing on planet earth they need this thing called grace like just like a jumbo jet needs fuel.
They love life, Jesus and this crazy thing called the local church.
The momma’s heart is full.
To my dad I am grateful for teaching us that chasing after other people’s opinions is like chasing the wind – meaningless.