If it is true that parental example is the primary standard by which children measure acceptable behavior, then what happens when the parental example is different from that which the world considers “normal?”
– What happens when the parent does not choose a life dominated by social interaction?
– What happens when the adult is quiet, sensitive, or repeatedly moved by compassion?
– What happens when he/she just does not fit in?
Society labels the parent and the child as “different.”
If you are a parent who sees the world through a slightly different lens, be encouraged. You are in good company. Be encouraged because your deep introspective contemplations and insights are not personality flaws. They are not shortcomings. Your differences are not weaknesses of any kind. In truth, they may just originate from your deeper walk with the counsel of God.
Consider Jesus. He was made perfect in all his ways. Yet,
- At the age of twelve he did not follow his parents, brothers and sisters, cousins, aunts & uncles, and friends on a journey home. Instead, he yielded to the hunger for wisdom within him and chose to stay with the church leaders in the city. After three days of searching, his parents finally found him in the temple. If a twelve-year-old would display this kind of focus today, he would be considered “impulsive, obsessive, disobedient, and fixated on a particular subject.”
- As an adult, we see Jesus turn over the tables of the money changers. Today, this kind of passion and sense of justice would be labeled “inappropriate social behavior by a man prone to outbursts of anger.”
- Jesus told the lying Pharisees, the church leaders of the day, that their father was Satan. Today it would be said of Jesus that he “has no filter and is a compulsive truth-teller.”
- Jesus was moved by compassion … he was touched with the feelings of our infirmities … Jesus wept. Today he would be classified as “overly sensitive and plagued by depression.”
- Jesus often went up to the mountain, alone, to pray. Today it would be said that he was “predisposed to late night periods of isolation.”
- One day, when Jesus was in a house teaching, it became crowded with followers. His family came and tried to take him away saying “He’s out of his mind – deranged!” Today, it would be said of him that “his cult followers were mesmerized by his talk of an unseen world.”
- And upon several occasions, when a crowd was stirred with anger and intent on killing him, Jesus simply walked away. Today it would be said that he “was reckless, radical, and lacked the ability to sense danger.”
Trusting in God’s protection, following the leading of the Lord, and looking inward for wisdom and counsel are foreign concepts to the world today. If you walk to the beat of a different drummer, so to speak, and if your parental example is different from that of your community, take heart. You are in good company.
- In truth, Jesus is still filled with compassion and love.
- He is still filled with mercy and kindness.
- He is still focused on carrying out the will of God and is intent on teaching us how to do well and succeed.
- He still speaks only that which is true and is without fear.
- He still encourages us to follow his example by setting aside time to be alone with his Father.
- He is still filled with wisdom for every circumstance.
As we follow in his footsteps, the world will not understand. Society will try to categorize us as “different,” “without a filter,” and prone to all sorts of personality quirks.
Yet, as we walk with him, we are setting a parental example far above that which the world deems acceptable. We are demonstrating to our children that there is a better way. A way that has already been proven. A way that has already been provided for. We have, in truth, chosen The Way. And in that, there is no apology.
(A Faith Classic)