If you love someone, set them free — such a loaded notion for me. As a parent of two children who’ve yet to enter gradeschool, this idea just doesn’t fit very well. The love I have more my daughters would more accurately translate into something like, “if you love someone… teach, protect, guide, discipline, and encourage” – anything BUT setting them free to the red teeth of life. Sure, they will leave the nest of our home one day, and this is a good thing (in fact some days I think I look forward to it a little too much). But even after they’ve matured, isn’t there a connection between absolute freedom and neglect?
If you love me, grab my arm and yank me back onto the sidewalk before I walk unwittingly in front of the speeding bus. If you love me, pull me aside and let me know when I’m acting like a selfish jerk. If you love me – teach, guide, discipline, and encourage me as we walk on together.