Here is an article I wrote over 10 years ago – I thought it would be an encouragement to all parents…
As I was growing up I thought that my parents were mean – perhaps, the meanest ever! While other kids were allowed to eat candy for breakfast we were forced to eat oatmeal, eggs and toast. When other kids got to eat junk food at lunch – we had to eat sandwiches and soup. Our mean parents even made us eat our vegetables, and would not allow us to leave the table until we had finished every one.
For some hateful reason, our parents insisted on knowing where we were at all times. You’d think they didn’t trust us! They were constantly getting in our business. It never failed – they always wanted to know who our friends were and what we were doing. Our mean parents even insisted that we not be one minute late past our curfew. I am kind of ashamed to admit it, but our parents broke the child labor law. They actually made us work. We had to wash dishes, rake leaves, cut wood, feed the dog, and mow the yard, walk to the store for milk – why we were even forced to take baths!
My parents also insisted on us going to worship and Bible study. When other kids got to stay home on Sunday night and watch the Wonderful World of Disney, we had to go to church. We never were allowed to miss Wednesday night Bible Class because of homework – we either completed it before or afterwards. We even received spankings for acting up in worship services or Bible Class. It didn’t matter that some of the other kids were getting away with it – we still got our licks!
As teenagers, it seemed that our parents were always cramping our style. When everyone else was wearing long hair, my parents insisted that my brother and I get haircuts. Shamefully, they would not even allow my sister to wear short dresses like all the other girls in school were wearing. Our mean parents would not allow us to go to dances or to others places that many of our schoolmates would go.
My parents even made us buy our own cars. They said that we would appreciate them much more and care for them more if we bought them ourselves. I use to ask myself, “Why are my parents so mean! Why don’t they understand!”
Now that I am in my 40s, I often look back at my childhood days and reflect upon all the mean things that our parents did to us. And then I think of how I turned out to be a preacher and married a fine Christian woman, and how my sister married a good deacon/preacher, and how my brother became a preacher and married a fine Christian woman. I think of how my sister, my brother, and myself are all faithful to the Lord. Then, tearfully, I thank the Lord for giving us mean parents.
I now have and am now raising children, and each time that my children think that I am mean – I stand a little taller and do a little strutting. They do not realize yet (nor did I when I was their age) that what they now consider mean, is really love beyond measure. Yes, I had mean parents, but it was because they loved me. Lord, thank you for mean parents.
I am a grandfather now, and I will be watching my daughter and her husband raise our little “Tooter” – I’ll be watching to seen if they too will be mean parents. Each time that Haley (Tooter) thinks Brandi is mean – I’ll smile and be thankful. The world needs more mean parents – parents will do all in their power to raise their children up faithful in the Lord. The world needs more loving/mean parents!
“For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, And scourgeth every son whom he receiveth … All chastening seemeth for the present to be not joyous but grievous; yet afterward it yieldeth peaceable fruit unto them that have been exercised thereby, even the fruit of righteousness” (Heb. 12:6, 11).
This is true of parents as well. Lord, thank you for mean parents!