There's a country song out there about a little boy wanting to be like his dad - in good ways and bad. It's cute, and actually moving, especially to parents. Parents remember those days when the little ones thought we were amazing and wanted to be like us - and then they grow up. It's not nearly as much fun when they decide they'd rather die than be like mom and dad.
But both stances are part of growing up - the idolization isn't meant to last, and neither is the repudiation.
I remember the day, the moment, I began seeing my parents in a more balanced light. When I began to compare them - not to my whims - but to other parents in my world. That was when my own parenting goals probably began. I was in high school.
I also remember when I saw that change happen with each of my kids - when I saw a more discerning look in their eyes when they looked at me, at their daddy, at our family. When being like, or not being like, Mike and I took on real meaning for their lives.
In my Lenten devotion this morning, Jesus is standing before the high priest in a middle of the night at an unjust hearing. He's bound, he's being accused, spit on and hit. He maintains his dignity - and his silence. He only answers that he is the Messiah and will sit with God in heaven.
One line jumped out at me in the author's prayer. "Let your forgiveness transform me, so that I am like you, and that I like to be like you!"
That I like to be like you. Wow - not out of idolization or fear or sacrifice - but because I like it. To stand silent in the midst of critics and do it because I like to be like Christ? Now there's some real maturing and some real discernment - and requires some real prayer.