We, religious Jews, are caught in a searing conundrum. On the one hand, we want to raise strong independent kids who make their own decisions; on the other hand, we are crushed when their choices are different from the ones we hoped for and wanted them to make.
But the real crisis and tragedy is not about the different choices our kids make, it’s about how we respond to them.
Parents tell their children countless times: “I love you.” We mouth the words day after day. But love is not just words. Words are the easy part. Love is fully respecting, listening to, and seeing each other. Even the parts that may be hard to see; even the parts that may break your heart.
It’s not about our feeling that we love our kids unconditionally. Of course, we do.
It’s about our kids feeling that we love them unconditionally. Perhaps they don’t.
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