The other night we met a woman struggling to hold on to her teenage son. He’s in his senior year, plays varsity football, and has the typical hit-the-floor running, teenage schedule. As we talked, she shared her concerns and feelings of failure. Over the years, life had gotten in the way, and she desperately wanted a do-over. She had one year left. One year to pour into this young man’s life. One year to share her faith. One year to connect with his heart. But after a decade of touch-and-go conversations, it wasn’t going to be easy. And as I watched her wipe the tears from her eyes, I was reminded afresh how little time Steve and I have before our princess leaves for college. In five years, I won’t be there to remind her to pray, or read her Bible. We won’t be able to sit on the couch sifting through the events of her day together. She’ll be on her own, with only her values to fall back on. The question will be: have those values penetrated her heart deep enough to hold her up when everything else falls apart? When I think of all the habits, attitudes, and ideas necessary for successful living, there is no time for casual parenting.
With that in mind, I’ll train, even when I get an eye-roll. I’ll connect, even when it feels like I’m chasing the wind. I’ll look past the occasional scowl or mumbled retort and keep my eye on the goal.
Some questions to ponder:
Actions are motivated by attitudes. What attitudes would you like your child or grandchild to adopt and how can you facilitate that process?
Everything we do creates habits. Accidental or casual living often creates negative habits. Purposeful living often creates positive habits. The best way to eliminate negative habits is to replace them with positive. What negative habits have you unintentionally formed in your child or grandchild. What positive habits would you like to see them develop and what steps can you take to see that happen?
What are your core values and how can you demonstrate those values to your child? Are you actively teaching your values to your child/grandchild or are you hoping they’ll adopt them via osmosis?
I believe everything is taught no matter how smart you are. No child of our will learn our values by osmosis.
This is a very inspiring article.
I’m glad you found it encouraging. 🙂 Blessings.
Thank you for another thoughtful expression of faith. What a thrill and opportunity to have our five grandkids over. Leann and I know the mistakes and the blessings from our two daughters and now have the opportunity to impart the wisdom of our years to the grandkids. It starts with prayer for salvation, and modeling a Christian environment.
Doesn’t that sound great. Sound like something out of a chapel reading or something. Hump, this ol’ pa still has moments of doubt, still wrestles with the questions of life, and find myself doing such a dumb thing on occasion. What a poor example; surely the Spirit must cringe at times when my former speech suddenly visits in a moment of haste.
Hmmm, but then there is also those divine moments as I sit with one on each side, reading from the Bible story book and search my heart for the right words to explain Jesus and salvation, then hold them in prayer before the Lord. What a privilage it is to see them learn a verse to treasure always. May God extend His grace to this ol’ pa as I purposely put myself behind and let God reach through me to these kids, bless them every one.
Wow, Jennifer, that was so right on! Thank you! I’m going to share this one on FB, if I can figure out how…
(See you tomorrow or Friday, I hope!)
Terry, how awesome to have the opportunity to pour into your grandkids lives. Grandparents are an amazing, powerful, life-changing gift from God. I’m sure you’re children are very grateful for your consistent interaction in their children’s lives. 🙂
Anne, glad you enjoyed it. You can click on the title, then copy the url in the browser, then paste it into your fb update. Unfortunately, I don’t think they have the share anymore. I miss that!