Charlotte and I have two daughters and a son-in-law. We now have three grandchildren! Little Sully was born to Jamie and Cal just the other day. As I drove home from Oklahoma City yesterday, I thought about what I wish I had known when our children were born. Like others, Charlotte and I were trying to figure out what we needed to do as parents. In spite of the way it may appear at times, no parent has this figured out. Good parents are constantly learning.
What I wish I had known when our children were born:
The best gift two parents can give their child is for them to love each other. If a husband and wife love, care for, and cherish one another, they have given their children a precious gift. Children watch their parents closely. Often parents think their kids do not overhear unkind words or see the menacing looks. Typically, children don’t miss very much. They see the way their daddy treats their mother and the way their mother treats their daddy. You cannot talk your way out of problems that you have created. You can’t explain away the contempt you have for one another.
On the other hand, when children see that their mom and dad are tender toward one another and that they cherish each other, they experience a special kind of security. When they see that their daddy adores and treasures their mother (and vice versa), they are witnessing something that can positively impact them for a long time.
Some of the very best parents I’ve known were single parents. Some became single because of the death of their spouse. Others experienced divorce. At almost every church we have served, there were single parents who gave their all for their children. It is tough to be a single parent and yet so many raise their children in homes of joy and contentment.