Let Buy-Gones Be Bye-Gones

You have just been so busy.  Your job keeps you traveling all during the year, at home and abroad.  You feel guilty about not being home with your children.  They’re growing up so fast, you can hardly believe it.

But hey, somebody has to keep the food on the table and the lights on. (Not to be sounding like your own dad, but sounding like your own dad!)  To keep the children happy, during an extended stay, you bring gifts home – expensive gifts, too.  They seem to enjoy them at the time.  Although, there have been times when you’ve returned from a trip and you see one of their friends wearing, playing with, or using the gifts as their own.  Or, laying around on the floor to be trampled on.  Leaves you wondering how much your children really appreciated them.

They tell you they would rather have you home instead of some gift.  Now, what child in their right mind wouldn’t mind having the kind of gifts your children get?   Kids?! You can’t believe the things they come up with. (And unbeknownst to you, the children are thinking – parents?! – how come everything has to be about buying stuff?)

Anyway, you don’t have time to think about that.  You’re making a living and it’s all for your family.  You have to get ready to meet your next job that takes you out of town – again.  As you leave and take a look back, you see sad little eyes peering from their bedroom windows. You have justified it all in your head:  this job won’t last always, it pays really well, and you’ll be able to settle down at home with your family before you know it.

Well, before you knew it, the children were grown and gone.  They’re emotionally distant and aloof.  The more you try to get close, the more they pull away.  You don’t understand it.  You bought them practically whatever they wanted.  Sure, you hardly said it, but didn’t that show them how much you loved them?  What else is it you could have possibly done not to warrant such treatment from them? Or could it be you didn’t know when to say good-bye to good buys?

How refreshing it would be if you were to receive these Hearts-R-Mending words from your children, which may be able to help you put things in perspective:

Let’s not take it for granted any more
That we’re going to be here too much longer
If I had my way about things
I’d ask God to help us to be much stronger.

To get past all of our differences
To put all that old stuff to rest
To look to loving each other well
To be relieved of our anger and stress.