Several years ago, while visiting my parents in their new retirement community, my husband told me about an incident that happened with our son. I admit I wouldn’t have handled the situation as my husband did—my husband parents differently than I. But, as it turns out, my husband’s parenting was inspired that day.
Here’s the backstory:
Swimming at the pool with Grandpa was a blast!
But now Nate was hungry. As he, his siblings, Dad, and Grandpa dried off, Nate impatiently waited to head back to Grandma’s.
“Come on, Dad. I’m hungry. Let’s go.” Nate said.
“Just a minute, Son,” Dad replied. “Grandpa is talking with his friend. We’ll leave soon.”
But Nate didn’t listen. He started toward Grandma’s, sure he knew the way.
At least that’s where he thought he headed.
Suddenly he stopped.
In the middle of the road.
Nothing looked familiar. He turned all the way around, desperately looking for Grandma’s house.
He was lost. Alone. As fear settled in and he began to cry, he heard a familiar voice.
“You’re okay, Nate,” Dad said. “I’m right here.”
Nate threw himself into Dad’s arms.
That day my husband taught our son some valuable lessons:
- Nate needed to get lost. Ever notice how sometimes the most valuable lessons about obedience happen when we go our own stubborn way? Nate was impatient and didn’t want to follow his dad’s plan. Instead, he went his own way which ended in confusion and turmoil.
- Nate’s fear was real. My husband acknowledged Nate’s fear immediately. His fear was real. Even though he got himself into this predicament, my husband’s love for Nate was the first thing he heard when he realized he was totally lost. We all need to hear that from our Father.
- Nate wasn’t ever alone. My husband never lost sight of our son. But, Nate didn’t know that. My husband didn’t allow Nate to see him, even though he was only a few steps behind him. Often we believe we are alone in a predicament; the truth is we aren’t. Our Father is always with us.
My husband’s goal was to show Nate that he didn’t know as much as he thought he did. He still needed help.
Nate’s not the only one who learned a lesson from this incident. I did too.
My husband parents differently than I. While I didn’t like that he let our young son head off on his own, he never lost sight of our son or the goal. As a mom, I would have handled this completely differently. I’m thankful that I wasn’t there. Nate learned a lesson he never forgot.
This story isn’t unique. In fact, all of us, if we are honest, have taken Nate’s path. We choose to go our own way instead of following the Father’s way, believing we know best.
But the Father’s amazing love is always ready when we stop, turn around, and look for Him. Aren’t you thankful for that? I know I am.
When have you experienced the Father’s love and gentle correction? How did that make you feel? Send me your thoughts.
If you need help, please reach out. I promise to listen without judgment and help you take the next step.