I had been feeling discouraged for the youth of the world. As I look at what they encounter on a daily basis, I wondered how they could cope and lift themselves above the media influences around them.
I suddenly feel much better.
First, I must say that two experiences in less than 24 hours does not a world make. But it was enough that I feel encouraged.
I met two mothers just yesterday alone who are quietly toiling alongside their children, raising them in gentle patience and love, who for right now are seriously content in that experience.
When I asked the first what hobbies she had, she laughed and said essentially right now her hobby was raising her sons. Oh, and cleaning her home. Her eyes were rested and the peace palpable.
Later in talking with a different mother--and when I asked her what her hobbies were--I was stunned to hear the same thing. This second young mother looked me straight in the eye and said, "Right now I'm raising my children."
These are articulate ladies. These are women with immense talents and quality. And these are women who have grasped the ethereal, eternal nature of women of God. These are women who are not second-guessing their role as the "raisers of the future."
Children who are raised in love, with steady boundaries, and by parents who (although not perfect) strive to listen to their cares with honest hearts, are children who are steadied enough to walk through this life with balance.
Do some children go off the deep end, creating ruckuses in spite of excellent parenting? Of course. But studies have shown, and I presume will continue to show, the impact of parenting style on children. Resent parenting and I presume children sense it. Savor parenting and I presume children sense it.
For example, a recent study came out indicating families that do outdoor-fun, recreational events/activities with their teens (at least weekly) help teens resist drugs and alcohol, simply by spending time with them. Another study has shown that families who eat dinner together nightly help children avoid binge drinking.
I had been worrying: "Are mothers getting their importance? Do fathers understand how important they are to their children?" I now feel encouraged. I have seen fathers "getting it" and now I've encountered two mothers just in the past 24 hours who get it, and in fact celebrate the time they have with their young children. Without regret. Without resentment. And in fact, with a whole lot of love.
These ladies toil in our society quietly and peacefully in their God-given glorious role as today's shapers of tomorrow's leaders. Why would anyone criticize the power of motherhood? And now that I've met these two amazing young mothers, in short sequence of one day, I am encouraged that there are many more.