Good parenting is crazy difficult. Just really hard. Like, really hard.
We’ve been navigating some new waters here, teaching boundaries and respect and discernment and adult skills they may never be thankful for.
I was journaling some words about my sons, asking God to give me what I need so I can give them what they need. Grace. Boundaries. Consequences. Wisdom. Mercy. Consistency. Compassion.
But my pen stopped halfway through the word compassion and I found a word tucked inside: compass.
Could it be that compass is the root word of compassion?
If that’s the case, maybe there’s answer tucked in there for me. And for all of us who are trying our best to do the crazy hard parenting.
The best discipline is blanketed with compassion.
You find your compass under the umbrella of compassion.
You find your direction again when someone offers you compassion.
It doesn’t mean there are no consequences.
It doesn’t mean there are no boundaries and follow-through.
It means that the ones in charge of discipline,
The ones who are disciple-ing,
Find it in their hearts to say,
“I see how you got here.
I’ve been there, too.
Let me help you find your way out.
It might feel a little sticky or painful to get untangled,
But I can see the way out.
And I’m sorry you’re in this mess, great or small.
Let me show you the way.”
God’s kindness leads us to repentance.
His love awakens my praise.
He is good and His mercy is forever.
And we are His ambassadors to the world,
First of all to our children.
Compassion. Perhaps it’s the true north.