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Learning to Love the Child You Have…and Not the One You Want

It makes sense that we, human beings, want what is better, faster, more comfortable, the best. This applies to gadgets and to food and even job hirings; but where it doesn’t apply, is with the children that God has given us.


Because the fact is that no human being short of Jesus Christ could have fulfilled another’s demand for perfection…and even then, some may have had very difference preferences for the Son of God.

You could have been smarter, or taller or more jovial or more social. You could have – and probably would have – fallen short of any parent’s ideal child, and yet, here you are. You have defied odds; you have surprised many; you have given numerous people a reason to hope and a reason to be proud. You have changed more lives than you will ever know or understand and still, you have to admit, you may not have been what someone would have ordered if the menu was in front of them.


Too many parents are far too infatuated with a child they don’t have. They want an athlete either because mom is one and wants to relate, or because dad isn’t one and he wants to live vicariously through the child instead. Some want a child who is an academic from the first, either because it would be better for their future, or because they fancy the family name and gene pool to carry with it a Ph.d.

And still others, looking at the child’s temperment or attitude or dreams for her life, consider it all a terrible mistake that this parent and this child were brought together; a tragedy or quite possibly a sad, divine error.


The eagle. Yup, the bird that soars thousands of feet in the air seeing a whole landscape all at once. And while I may only see a stone’s throw down the road in front of me, the eagle might possibly be able to see ahead of me for miles. In other words, it can see what I can’t see. And because it can, it can avoid what I can’t.

This is why the earliest Christians chose the eagle as the symbol to represent the Gospel of John by the way. Because unlike other books in the New Testament, the author of John seemed to catch everything from God’s perspective, pointing out details that were missed in the synoptics.


Every parent needs to get up in the air and look at their child the way that God does. He loves you, that is a fact. He loves your child, that is a fact. And yes, He can see way down the road.

The ‘defects’ you see in your child may be the precise reason why you were chosen to guide them, to teach them, to love them, to cherish them; for your sake and for theirs.

The ‘difficulties’ you experience with them may, in God’s time, be the solution to many problems that you and others will face.

God has a plan for the child He has given you. It is awesome and it is custom made.

So get your head out of the menu, and be thankful.

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