Parenting: Taking the Bad Along With the Good

The best part of being a parent is watching my kids fight … said no parent ever!

I grew up as an almost only child (my sister is a decade younger than me), so I was fortunately (or unfortunately?) never exposed to sibling rivalry. Now as a mama of two munchkins, I see, hear and breathe it every single day. Let me give you some examples:

Scenario 1: E grabs C’s favorite chicky toy and hugs it tightly to his chest while C pounds on his back and demands it back.

Scenario 2: C (with a sneaky smile on her face) purposely touches E’s shoes when he specifically told her not to.

And my favorite (sarcasm intended) Scenario 3 (in the car as they sit side by side):

C: E’s trying to lick me! He’s blowing air on my face!

E: C’s foot is in my spot! Tell her to move!

Me: That’s enough! Keep your tongues, breath, feet, everything to yourselves!!

Argh. I’m getting riled up just thinking about this. (Pausing to take a deep breath.) 😛

So, the kids’ daily fighting got me thinking some deep thoughts one day (thanks also in part to my recent mid-faith crisis). All  the anger and frustration and shock that I feel when E and C mistreat one another give me a tiny, ant-like glimpse into how God must feel when we (mankind) mistreat one another. I’m talking about the things we see on the news and the things that happen behind closed doors, the inconceivable acts people do to harm strangers and even worse, their own family members. 🙁

All the crazy stuff going on in the world makes me wonder, Why can’t we just get along?!

I wonder if this is something God asks, too. But of course He knows the answer to this question. He knows the reasons behind each of our dark thoughts, intentions and behaviors, yet He is still patient with us. How can this be? How can God see all the bad happening in the world and not want to pull His hair out or hide away in a closet somewhere as I often want to do when my kids get out of control?

Maybe it’s because even though He sees all the bad, He also sees all the good.

Now that I’ve been a parent for 8+ years, I’m starting to understand a few things about having kids.

1. They will misbehave, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise when they do.

2. They also have the capacity to be kind, helpful and compassionate.

3. I readily take the bad along with the good because I love them and they are mine.

I’m not God (thankfully!), but I’m guessing that He really enjoys it when His kids do get along. Sure, we don’t get along all the time, but there are plenty of moments when we’ve seen love at work among family, friends and even complete strangers. I have experienced it myself and I’m sure you have, too.


I love it when my munchkins love each other! (Please disregard the mess – this picture is from a few years ago. LOL)

So we (or maybe more specifically I) shouldn’t lose heart over all the crazy stuff that goes on in the world (or the backseat of my car) because there’s still a lot of beautiful, amazing stuff happening, too.

I think this verse from Romans 12:21 about sums things up: “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”

This post was inspired in part by Alicia Keys’ new song, “We Are Here”. The lyrics talk about the troubling things happening in the world, but also the love we can show each other.

How have you seen good overcome evil in your life?

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