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Parenting: Childhood

Our Fatal Flaw – C.S. Lewis

Growth as a parent is growing in humility. Children are given to help us grow in holiness. And part of that wisdom is recognizing that I have what C.S. Lewis calls a fatal flaw.

And you see, looking back, how all the plans you have made always have shipwrecked on that fatal flaw of X’s incurable jealousy, or laziness, or touchiness, or muddle-headedness, or bossiness, or ill temper, or changeableness….

This is the next great step in wisdom–to realize that you also are just that sort of person. You also have a fatal flaw in your character. All the hopes and plans of others have again and again shipwrecked on your character just as your hopes and plans have shipwrecked on theirs.

It is no good passing this over with some vague, general admission such as “Of course, I know I have my faults.” It is important to realize that there is some really fatal flaw in you; something which gives the others just that same feeling of despair which their flaws give you. And it is almost certainly something you don’t know about- like what the advertisements call “halitosis” which everyone notices except the person who has it.

But why, you ask, don’t the others tell me? Believe me, they have tried to tell you over and over again, and you just couldn’t “take it.” Perhaps a good deal of what you call their “nagging” or “bad temper” or “queerness” are just their attempts to make you see the truth. And even the faults you do know you don’t know fully. C. S. Lewis, “How to Get Along with Difficult People.” Eternity 16

Let us grow in humility and we listen to our children and attack the fatal flaw through repentance, faith and the Holy Spirit’s power.

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