But parenthood is so much more than that, and the real test comes when I have to figure out what to teach my little girl. That, indeed, is the daunting part of this task I have been handed. I remember sitting in the living room as I received a long-winded speech about the pitfalls of my actions from my mother. At the end of it, inevitably, was the ever-present reminder: "It is my job to train you up in the way that you should go, so that when you are old, you will not depart from it. Because one day I will stand before the throne of God and have to be accountable for what I taught you. So I'm not here to be your friend. I'm here to be your mom." I even once jokingly told her that I was going to put Proverbs 22:6 on her gravestone because she said it so often and it was like her life's motto.
And now, soon, it will be my turn. It will be my job to take the torch and carry it forward to another generation. I just have one problem. There are some things that I'm standing on the fence regarding what I believe about them. The fence isn't the greatest place to be. It's a bit unstable and I often feel like I'm about to fall. But regardless, I will be responsible for what I pour into this child, and I value the position I have in her life very highly. To me, it's quite a serious matter....what I teach her. I feel that it is both the most rewarding and the most heavy responsibility that we have as parents.
I'm not so worried about the easier things like ABC's and school and tying shoes. Rather, I'm apprehensive about the bigger things that I'm not even sure about. For instance....Christmas. Today is actually Christmas day, and while I understand that I won't have to teach her about all the ins and outs of it for a couple of years, when she will comprehend what I am saying, I also realize that sometime before then I need to decide what it is that I actually want to teach her about it. A few years back, I did a bunch of research and discovered the depressing truth that Christmas had entirely pagan roots. I stopped celebrating it. I still don't plan to, but I am nevertheless stuck with a dilemma...do I emphasize the pagan roots in teaching her about it, or do I emphasize the charitable spirit that Christmas now has? A year ago yesterday I was working in a bakery and refused to promote Christmas in any way. I wouldn't even put the colors red and green together on a cake or cupcakes. I attempted to avoid the cake orders that were Christmas-y. I dreaded the moments when people walked in and wanted me to write Happy Birthday Jesus on a cake. I sometimes passed it off to another bakery worker. Didn't they know that he was actually born during the Jewish feast of Sukkot in September/October? They didn't celebrate their own birthdays two months later....why His? And it was well documented that December 25th, the time of the Winter Solstice, was the feast of Saturnalia and the birthday of the sun god Tammuz. Why was everyone celebrating this and fine with it? It was pure pagan. I was excellent at judging everyone and their dogs (who often wore Santa suits).
|All Done! by Roxanne Ready licensed under CC by 2.0|
Still I waver on what to teach our little girl. What does God think of this season? Does He look down at all the joy, all the charity...pure and wholesome...and abhor it because of its past? Does he hate it because it was once a completely different celebration to a completely different god? And, what if we didn't have internet? Would we even know about this? More than likely not, unless we were historians. Are we now obligated to hate this holiday simply because of the advancement of technology? Perhaps. Perhaps not.
No matter what I end up teaching my daughter, it's important that I teach it with a clear conscience before my Creator. I may not get it perfect, but I can at least do my best. Perhaps that's what parenthood is...doing your best and being willing to apologize when you fail. What are some things you have struggled with about being a parent?