Peter and I went head to head in a screaming match over him eating his last bite of dinner tonight. I begged him to take it, but when he kept refusing the begging turned into threats. It seems ridiculous that I wouldn’t give in, but I wanted a win for once. He’s stubborn to an extreme and isn’t easily persuaded by logic, repeated commands, threats or anything really. He’s basically me when I was a kid so I should have a better idea of what should work best for him. But I don’t.
That’s the scariest thing, isn’t it? When someone is like you in your brokenness? He’s needy for love and attention like I was, and I wonder if my parenting is just perpetuating the same me with all my insecurities and issues except in boy form. SCARY.
One of my strongest memories as a kid was fake crying in my parents’s room because I told myself that they didn’t love me. I said this over and over again until I convinced myself it was true. I’m sure my parents were annoyed, and I’m sure they reassured me that they did, but this was a theme for my childhood. I always felt less loved, and that didn’t go very well with already being wired to need more love. Or was it the other way around where I needed more love because I didn’t receive as much? Either way, I see the same thing in Peter, and it both annoys and scares the crap out of me.
How do I love him the way he needs to be loved? Is it even possible for me to fill this need of his? How do we discipline him so he doesn’t feel rejected? How do we keep him from finding his worth in how well he behaves or completely rebelling because he can’t measure up to what we expect of him? Why can’t he just be like James??
I don’t know the answers, but I know that he was wonderfully created by a God who knows him AND me. I’m sure sanctification is part of the reason why Peter’s so much like me. Right, God? Every night I tell him that I love him, that Daddy loves him, but that God loves him the most. I want him to know we might fail in loving him well, but there is a God who loves him without limits. I hope our love will show him that, but if not, I want to point him to the One whose love never fails.