The things I learn by being a parent are countless. The most cherished things I've learned are those that give me greater insight into the paternal heart of the Father. Wendell Berry (one of my favorite writers) gives us this.
The Way of Pain
For parents, the only way is hard. We who give life give pain. There is no help. Yet we who give pain give love, by pain we learn the extremity of love.
I read of Abraham’s sacrifice the Voice required of him, so that he led to the altar and the knife his only son. The beloved life was spared that time, but not the pain. It was the pain that was required.
I read of Christ crucified, the only begotten Son sacrificed to flesh and time and all our woe. He died and rose, but who does not tremble for his pain, his loneliness, and the darkness of the sixth hour? Unless we grieve like Mary at His grave, giving Him up as lost, no Easter morning comes.
And then I slept, and dreamed the life of my only son was required of me, and I must bring him to the edge of pain, not knowing why. I woke, and yet that pain was true. It brought his life to the full in me. I bore him suffering, with love like the sun, too bright, unsparing, whole.”
Excerpt From: Wendell Berry. “New Collected Poems.”