Today is our oldest daughter’s birthday. It has hard to believe that 29 years ago, we had our first baby. Now Christine and her sister Jamie, are grown and have families of their own.
I recently thought about the years we were together as a family. We were all learning together. We certainly made lots of mistakes. However, as I think back to the many conversations Charlotte and I had about our children, this is what I recall:
1. We tried to establish consistent habits such as reading Bible stories at bedtime, praying together, and eating meals together.
2. We never wanted to put pressure on them because they were a minister’s children. We tried to communicate they were children of God, just like everyone else.
3. We talked about our faith and God at home. We did so as a part of our everyday lives.
4. We attempted to be consistent in what we taught our children through our words and actions.
5. We went on family vacations together. Some of the most signifiant conversations occurred late at night when one parent was driving while one of the children rode in the front seat.
6. We tried to communicate again and again, God’s care and concern for them. We did this each night when we put them to bed. Later we attempted to do this through notes, conversations and prayer.
7. We wanted our children to see that our lives did not center around them but around God. This can take enormous pressure off children. Rather, they see that we have a higher purpose outside ourselves.
8. We attempted to communicate basic godly virtues such as honesty, truth-telling, and patience.
Again, we did this imperfectly.
What has been important to you in raising your children?