Raising Jerktoids

My daughter is a jerktoid.

There, I said it. I know it’s harsh, but it’s true.

She’s selfish, stubborn, and abrasive. She whines and shouts, emotion spilling uncontrollably down her face when things don’t go her way. Then she strikes me in the face when I don’t cave in to her antics.

It’s like raising a viper.

In short, she’s difficult to get along with.

Some would say she’s this way because she’s only two-years-old. And for a while, I was fooled into believing them. But lately, I’m beginning to suspect all of this is engrained into her DNA. She runs on raw emotion as surely as she runs on her two, tiny feet.

And, quite frankly, I’ve questioned whether I really like that.

It’s a difficult question—whether or not you like your own child—and it’s one I find myself ashamed or embarrassed to ask. (Isn’t every mother supposed to love her babies with unwavering ferocity?)

So I tiptoed around it gently, sizing up every angle before coming to my conclusion:

There are many times I really don’t like who she is as a person.

But she’s my daughter, for crying out loud, and I love her.

It knots my stomach to think about our future relationship. One where if I let my liking for her overcome my love for her, we would surely part ways—and do so bitterly. She’d be glad to be rid of me, and I’d inhale in the drama-free air after she goes.

I don’t want that at all.

I want a relationship with her now and when she’s grown. But to do that, I must show her love now. Even when I don’t want to. Even when it’s hard.

Even when I don’t like her.

To do that, there needs to be a truce. A laying down of our weapons. A reconciliation of sorts.

And since she’s only two, I will hoist the burden of that onto my own shoulders. I choose—willingly—to make the greater sacrifice so that she and I can be close.

That, I realize, is exactly what my Father has done for me.

I’m selfish, impatient, and stubborn to a fault. I whine and self-pity, emotion spilling uncontrollably down my face when my comfortable life seems too hard.

It’s like raising a serpent.

In short, I can be difficult to get along with.

I’m beginning to suspect that aspect of me is engrained into my DNA. I function on sin as surely as I do on a good night’s sleep and a full cup of coffee.

And, quite frankly, I’ve questioned whether God really likes that.

It’s a difficult question—whether or not you’re liked by your own Father—and it’s one I find myself ashamed or embarrassed to ask.

It knots my stomach to think about our future relationship. One where if He let his liking for me overcome his love for me, we would surely part ways—and do so bitterly.

But He doesn’t want that at all.

He wants a relationship with me now and in heaven. But to do that, He must show me love now. Even when it’s hard.

To do that, there needs to be a truce. A laying down of our weapons. A reconciliation of sorts.

And since I’m only human, He hoisted the burden of that onto His own shoulders. He chose—willingly—to make the greater sacrifice so that we could be close.

He says so right there in His own living Word:

“God demonstrates his own love for us in this: that while we were still jerktoids (rough translation), Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)

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