Saturday, February 23, 2013

Being Graciously Misunderstood

It is difficult to be misunderstood. It can happen to anyone, anytime. I find one of the difficult things I have encountered as a parent is being misunderstood. There is something to be said for being a new mom and taking the advice of people who have been there. It is an act of humility to put yourself under others and learn from them. Sometimes, though, as a parent, you just need to do what you know is best for your child, no matter what someone outside of your home thinks.

I know I ran into this some with my first son, and at times I admit that it was pride that made me want to do something different than what was suggested. I still learned though even in the times when I might not have followed advice immediately. Parenting is one of those things that for the most part, you live and learn, and sometimes you learn the most by knowing your child. That is something that onlookers do not have, and that is why you cannot follow every piece of advice thrown at you through the media, Internet, and sometimes even friends and family.

Facebook is one of those mediums that can be negative in this way. It is sometimes humorous to see an unsuspecting mom place a comment online about her child. Within minutes there are thirty comments with suggestions that were not even asked for. I think we have all done it and have had it done to us. It is one of those areas that I have learned to be cautious about, because sometimes moms just want to talk and not be advised.

When it comes to having a child with special needs, it is easy to be misunderstood. I know I am new at it, and many of you reading this may be much more experienced. If you are, then you might know exactly what I mean. Just in general, people judge before knowing.

Perhaps your child is autistic and because of this might not be socially the same as others. There could be awkward moments where you and your child are misunderstood.

Your child might be hearing impaired or deaf. Because of this, he or she might speak extra loudly. People might turn and stare or even make comments.

Perhaps your child has a suppressed immune system or health issues that makes him or her very susceptible to illness that can cause critical illness. Maybe like me, you take every precaution, including a lot of hand sanitizer and keeping the baby carrier covered when around people. There might be talk about me doing this, but it is for a reason. It is one of those areas where I can be misunderstood, but it is just one of the many judgment calls that I have to make as a parent.

It is difficult to be misunderstood, and it could be easy to take offense, but what good does it do? The people judging are misinformed or uninformed. Being gracious may be difficult, but it must be done. Sometimes an answer is not necessary. Sometimes an explanation can help. It is hard not to take things having to do with your children personally, but as a child of God we must choose grace.

God showed grace to us. He graciously overlooks our sin every day because His Son, Jesus, covered it with His blood when He died on the cross. Christ was horribly misunderstood on earth, and unfortunately He still is today by so many. He still reaches out in grace to all.

Sometimes our initial feelings and reactions will not be one of grace. That is just normal. It is not easy to look like Christ when we feel judged and misunderstood. Practice makes better in this world. Perfection is only in the world to come.

Ephesians 2:1-10
Eph 2:1And you [hath he quickened], who were dead in trespasses and sins;
Eph 2:2Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:
Eph 2:3Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.
Eph 2:4But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,
Eph 2:5Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)
Eph 2:6And hath raised [us] up together, and made [us] sit together in heavenly [places] in Christ Jesus:
Eph 2:7That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in [his] kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
Eph 2:8For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God:
Eph 2:9Not of works, lest any man should boast.
Eph 2:10For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

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