A most unlikely source to remind of the challenges of parenthood comes from the geneaologies of the Bible. My colleague, Claude Mariottini, in his Rereading the Biblical Text: Searching for Meaning and Understanding, devotes a short chapter to a pattern in the geneaologies of the Bible that can be a source of comfort for parents — especially perhaps for parents who have children who have not embraced the faith.
From Matthew 1:9-10:
Uzziah the father of Jotham, and Jotham the father of Ahaz, and Ahaz the father of Hezekiah, and Hezekiah the father of Manasseh, and Manasseh the father of Amos, and Amos the father of Josiah…
Uzziah, a good king, was the father of a good king (Jotham).
Jotham, a good king, was the father of a bad king (Ahaz).
Ahaz, an evil king, was the father of a good, yea great, king (Hezekiah).
Hezekiah, a great king, was the father of an awful king (Manasseh).
Manasseh, a bad king, was the father of an evil king (Amnon).
Amnon, an evil king, was the father of the best king of Judah (Josiah).
Children do not always follow in the ways of their parents.
Parents don’t always guide their children into their ways.
It is tough being a parent, Claude concludes.
“Joy and disappointments come with the agony and ecstasy of being parents” (83).