This past Sunday's message at church was on parenting. That morning, I asked our girls if they wanted to watch it with us. Tim looked at me strangely....well, they all did actually. I just thought, if I was going to hear a message on how to child rear, might as well have those kids be there to kick me in the rear when they heard something that we're doing wrong......
I'm providing the link below, so that you can hear for yourself, from two people that I highly respect and think they are real and loving as they bring so much truth to the table.
Some key points they said that just truly encouraged me and challenged me, was something that Tim and I hold VERY dear to our hearts.
1.) Enjoyable Adult Relationships with our Children
I can not tell you how much Tim and I have talked about this through the years. It has been something we think about a LOT.
One thing Andy mentions as one of his biggest regrets with parenting is that he said too much. Even when what he said was truth and right, he should have spoken less.
I can SO relate to this. I wish that I would have just said less. Even when correcting, to just correct them, but not prove to them that what I am saying is correct and right. Just correct and move on, because I am sure even if the talk lasts 2 mins, it could start to sound like a lecture to them, and who likes to be "lectured" all the time. I remember reading something awhile ago that said, "it's not what you say, it's how they hear it.". So true.
There is quite frankly nothing ( besides point number two), that Tim and I would be thrilled with most in the parenting department then for our children to want us later on. Want to call us, want to be around us, and want to come home. Nothing.
Andy mentioned, "we are not raising children; we are raising adults." oh, how that just makes me excited and nauseous at the same time.
We have a beautiful responsibility as parents. I, so often during our "survival" years (what Sandra said, " our days are long, but our years are short."...hit home), wished that I didn't treat them as so; even though that's how they felt....survival. Tim would work night shifts a lot, we owned a business, he traveled weeks at end some times, and there were days bed time couldn't get here fast enough. I hate I did that. I wish that I just pushed through with more joy and really absorbed what those parenting years were all about.
I so desperately want our children to know how much we are FOR them. That we are totally on their side, especially when they feel like we are not. Every time we talk to our kids, and Tim and I give the "look" to each other, it normally means...talk less, don't freak out and just be available to listen. Our number one reason.... we want them to want us. We want these teenage years to be close. They WILL make mistakes. They WILL mess up. We want them to know they can come to us with whatever. We want them to know that it is safe for them here. We are building a future relationship with them. That adult relationship last a lot longer then the 18 years they were under your roof. A memory that stands out so powerful to me, was years ago when one of our children called us around 10pm from a friend's home. She couldn't sleep because she left a certain stuffed animal at home. This toy was not any one in particular, and was shocked they even noticed they didn't bring it, but it didn't matter....they felt like they needed it; and as I heard Tim talk on the phone with them, I shook my head as if we should just teach them to "get over it" and go to sleep. Tim hung up the phone with telling her, "I'll be right there....". I remember being mad, thinking of how tired and late it was and that they could just "wait until morning". He said, "Katie, if one of our girls calls me in the middle of the night and needs me, I want them to know I will be there for them. Even with what seems to be the stupidest, minor thing to us."...... my husband became more of a hero to me that night....
2.) That they will KNOW God has a Will for their life. That they seek it, and KNOW He has purpose for them.
When this was revealed to me just a short 12+ years ago, it changed everything for me. Everything. When you believe you were created by THE Creator, for a beautiful purpose; that you are part of a perfect plan of His.... that He has things lined up in your life specifically for you and to be used in this lovely story called life...all for His glory, all for Jesus......it's the most beautiful thing you can ever experience. Ever. The Cross becomes so real and personal to you, because your heart fills with song, fire ignites under your feet, passion burns in your soul. You live life on this earth knowing it is only temporary, and that there are greater things ahead, because Jesus did that for you, He made created that path.
I saw less of The View and Oprah Winfrey, and more people. I wanted to feed more souls for the Kingdom, whether around our dinner table or clothing their children with my business.
Andy often says,"If we could just get this one thing right..." , and I will say that on the above. I will say that for this......
God loves you. He wants to use you, because you are worth using. You have purpose. You are wonderfully made.... full of His mercy, grace and love He filled you with with His Spirit. You will accomplish GREAT things. You will know Him, because He is in everything. He is in you. He will be Glorified through your actions. You will sing of His praises, because He sang for you and filled you with His song.
I don't tell this to our children to give them a big head, I pray it gives them a big soul.
If our children believe the above.........I'm good with that.
Please click on this link, and be blessed, encouraged and challenged. It is so worth watching and applying.