I’ll never forget the words during the homily of my wedding Mass. Father Kopil opened the homily, “’For better or worse’ isn’t really tested until little kids join your family in a few years, and ketchup is splattered on the walls and everyone is a mess.” I giggled at the time, but I had no idea just how much truth was buried in those words. Parenting is indeed a sacred and joyful calling, but it’s also a vocation that can purify your soul. Especially when ketchup is literally flying through the air.
Parenting can test your mettle unlike anything else, but it also provides endless opportunities to demonstrate charity, patience, and mercy, and it’s not always easy. If you do not control your emotions, then your emotions rule you, and discipline is quickly replaced with its cozened doppelgänger: punishment.