Last night’s episode of Pretty Little Liars was epic! We are a step closer to finding out why Allison died, who killed her, and who A is. There’s also the fact that someone is trying to ruin Spencer’s life, Aria and Ezra are about to get busted, and Hannah and Caleb are done. Yeah…I’d say last night’s episode was one of the best we’ve seen in a while.
If you were paying close enough attention last night, you also may have noticed a beautiful conversation that took place between Caleb and Hannah’s mom. It was about halfway through the episode, when Caleb went to look for Hannah at her house. The ghetto “bad boy” of the show openly and honestly tells Hannah’s upset mother “I think she’s lucky. Maybe if I had a mom like you I wouldn’t be sleeping on a bus and making up the rules as I go along.” It’s a beautiful, emotional scene where Caleb admits that his life would have been so much better if he had parents who cared for him.
This powerful scene from Pretty Little Liars can tell us a lot about the huge role that parents have in the lives of their children. Caleb has all the “freedom” in the world. He can go where he wants, and do what he wants when he wants without ever having to deal with parents nagging him all the time. He makes his own rules, lives whatever life he wants to. Such a life seems like it would be so perfect doesn’t it? Well if such a life is so perfect, why does Caleb never seem to be really happy?
Here in this scene Caleb acknowledges that his “parentless life of freedom” isn’t actually so great. He recognizes that he needs good, strong parents who could love him and guide him. Caleb sees this, but I’m not sure Hannah and the rest of the girls do. Actually, I’m not sure that you and I are always aware of this. Oftentimes we see our parents as the bosses always trying to tell us what to do, always thinking they know what’s best for us. I know in the past I’ve thought that life would be so good if my parents would just mind their own business and let me live my life.
The issue here is today many of us growing up, especially during our teenage years, see our parents as the chauffeur, the cook, the landlord, the bank, etc. and not as parents. What is a parent? Most of you will probably be called by God to be parents. What does that mean?
Parents are given a special vocation by God himself. They are entrusted with bringing new life into the world. See how amazing it is, God puts a newborn baby into the care of parents, actually trusting those parents with the life of his own beloved son/daughter. Therefore the vocation of parenthood goes beyond simple care giving; parents are to love their children as God does, as the newborn baby is to first experience the love of God through his/her parents. To reduce parenthood to a simple biological requirement of procreating the human species would be an absolute tragedy. The vocation of the parenthood is in fact a vocation in and of itself, a vocation that exists within the context of marriage. It is a calling by God himself to an extraordinary standard of love.
This is why it is so tragic when parents give birth to a baby but do not live up to the parental vocation given to them by God. Not only is the virtue of the parents themselves weakened, as they are not living up to their own vocation, but the child himself/herself then goes through a crisis as well. When parents give birth but do not recognize and live up to this calling from God, a child is forced to grow up without the natural way God wants us to experience his love throughout our lives, and especially throughout childhood. Of course it is still possible for such a child to find God’s love and grow in holiness, but they are forced to do so without the help of the most fundamental guides, one’s parents.
Parenthood is a unique vocation given by God himself. It is a call to love, just like marriage, religious life, and the priesthood. I think looking at parenthood in this light can help me appreciate everything my parents do for me so much more. God has actually chosen to use them to share his love with me.
“Heavenly father, thank you for blessing humanity with the vocation of parenthood. Bless and guide our parents. Keep them strong in their vocation, that they may always seek to bring your love to their children. Also, guide those of us who you are calling to this beautiful vocation. Help us to never reduce parenthood to anything less than that, to never forget how truly fundamental the vocation of parenthood is for the building of your kingdom here on earth.”