Suppose for a moment that you were asked to pass on some of the most important truths or lessons about life to four people whom you deeply cared about.
To one person you will pass on some of the most important things you have learned about being a husband or wife. (See yesterday’s post and the comments that follow.) To a second person, you will pass on some of the most important truths you have learned about being a mom or dad. (Tomorrow, I will mention a third person.)
What have you learned about being a parent that you would want to pass on to someone else? I will begin the list. Please comment and leave some truth or important principle that you would want to pass on.
The following are a few of mine:
- Teach your child to love God and love people. A child learns this by seeing and hearing it in the life of her mom and dad. A child quickly picks up whether or not this is really important in the life of her parents.
- You are rearing the parents of your grandchildren. What you do will be passed on to another generation.
- Laugh often in your home. Build a place of good memories.
- Pray for the wisdom to know what to "let go" and to know what you need to deal with in the lives of your children.
- Give your child lots of grace and truth. Good homes have an abundance of love along with God-honoring expectations and standards.
- Be a regular, ongoing learner. Most of us who are parents have much to learn. Watch parents who seem to be doing something right. Have conversations with these people. Read. Most of all — pray for wisdom.
- Nurture your own life with God. Being a parent is to be vulnerable. Most of the time, our child sees us for who we really are. Yes, that could make us nervous. (This might cause us to examine our lives.) On the other hand, this can be comforting. A child can see through our mistakes and blunders and know that we really do intend to do right before God and toward him or her as our child. Nevertheless, she does need to hear us apologize and admit our mistakes and wrongdoing.
- Spend time talking and being with your child when he is very, very young. He might be more willing to continue to share his heart with you as he moves into adolescent years. Regardless, you have given your child very, very good memories of mom or dad being a safe, nurturing person.
- Pay now or pay later. Being a parent is often hard work. Some parents close their eyes to behavior or attitudes that should be dealt with. Yes, this takes time and energy. For instance, a six-year-old might be very disrespectful toward his mother. Yes, she can close her eyes to this. The problem, however, only gets worse as this child soon becomes sixteen and is disrespectful toward his mother.
- Never think that you have this parenting thing figured out. Being a parent can be very, very humbling.
This list is only a start. What will you add?