I can remember years and years ago, when Jeff and I were dating while students at Charleston Southern University, coming back to the dorm after a date and sitting in the parking lot talking about our hopes and dreams for the future. We spent countless hours talking about one day being married and having children. We had it all planned out. We would have a boy first, his name would be Seth and we’d go on to have a couple more BOYS after! Well, here almost 17 years later, we have a 13 year old GIRL, 11 year old GIRL, 10 year old GIRL and 4 year old GIRL…none of which are named SETH! We had a plan, but often our plans aren’t exactly what we thought they’d be. That’s pretty much how it is when you do become parents, in general. We have plans that our kids will be the best, brightest, most well-behaved kids around, but truthfully things don’t always go that way. Life happens and kids…well, they are just as imperfect as we are. We can, however, still put plans in place to be successful parents with successful children. Yesterday, we concluded our series at LifeSong, “Band of Brothers”. It was the perfect challenge for our men to devote themselves to being Godly fathers. I hope you’ll take time to listen online. I left our services yesterday with the thought, “It’s NEVER too late to step it up!” Goodness, the times I feel like I fail my children are numerous. The times I just want to give up are far more! Fathers, it is NEVER too late to BE a father to your children. The truth that never changes is that all children need their fathers. Being a parent feels like a great big learning curve, but in the process we learn so much about who God is, who we are, and we discover that we really do have those amazing kids we always dreamed we’d have!
Here are some take aways from my husband’s message about being a hands on dad:
*Give your kids your touch, time and talk (Mark 10:13-16)
-pray for the right friends
-pray God will do whatever it takes
-give them unconditional love (and grace..remember, they are NOT perfect!)
-never discipline them in anger (this must be done in love)
-when disciplining, do so with instruction and reconciliation
Be REAL with your kids. They see right through us when we try to be something we are not. Be TRUE with your kids. Don’t tell them to do one thing, while you, yourself, do the opposite. We cannot shield our kids from real life experiences, but we can turn them daily to the One that helps them overcome. Pray for your kids to be influencers. They are as strong of a witness to a world in need of Christ as we are. Give them a voice. Don’t squelch it. Most of all, let your love for them be without prejudice. Sure, they will mess up, but let your love pervade the very depths of who they are, so that they NEVER have to wonder if our love for them has run dry.