Children who have faith have distinctly different characteristics from those who don’t. In fact, one of the main manifestations of a person with strong faith is the ability to give-not just in terms of money or possessions, but also time, love, and encouragement.

Being a mother is not about ‘birthing a child into the world.’ Rather, it is about repeatedly ‘birthing into the child’ a steady sense of their inestimable worth, a prized understanding of their authentic self, a conviction that the impossible is largely the stuff of myth, and an utterly unwavering belief that the cold actions of men never represent the warm heart of God. It is the relentless act of birthing these things into the innermost soul of a thirsty child that makes a woman a mother.

Every parent is an artist, for the bared canvas of a newborn’s soul begs for the artist’s touch. And because this is so, a parent must prepare the palette with the utmost care, choose the brushes with poised caution, and mindfully attend to every brushstroke regardless of how slight. And such caution is utterly imperative for the emerging rendering will be both a legacy borne of the parent, and a life lived by the child.

I’ve found that many loving parents have lost focus of what parenting is about. Our obligation as parents is not to make our children happy – it’s to teach them how to be happy; it’s not to make our children comfortable – it’s to teach them how to tolerate discomfort. For these lessons, upsetting to them as they may be now, will better equip them for survival later when it matters most.

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