I’ve never made a “list” like this before and enjoyed the challenge of thinking things through with the limit of only 5 items allowed. Please take a moment to read and then let me know what makes your list!
- The playing field is leveled. Parenting is the ultimate task in humility. Criticisms I loftily proclaimed or thought before having kids have come back to bite me- hard. Those without kids (or parents of compliant children) have a simple solution to wrong behaviors like the kid pestering his mom at the store. Then you have kids and get smacked by reality: they are little independent people (trainable, true). Peanut galleries are for the theoretical; parenting is for the hands-on.
- Philosophical Challenge. Thinking, acting and doing what you believe, are challenged. Depth of conviction on any matter is tested as parenting forces a resolution on many unresolved ideas and rhetoric. Just when one belief seems securely decided, a new area needs tending. When passing the world along to part of you that will live on, thinking things through and acting upon the decision is paramount.
- Perspective. Removed from the stings involved in “firsts” we know that bumps and bruises are temporary. Instead of focusing on momentary learning pains, we learn to focus on the victories and character developing. We learn to compassionately encourage knowing we are still learning.
- Understanding who you are and where you’re from. Snippets of generations past come alive as family traits run deeper than a nose, face shape and body build (for better or worse, consider whom you’re procreating with). I happen to have children with an equally stubborn strong-willed family, guess what we have! And it’s all worth it!
- You never know who you’re raising. The honor and opportunity to raise kids means putting our plans aside. Prayerfully asking God to guide in helping us parent them into the people He wants them to be is exhilarating (often complicated and challenging). Knowing they have a life of significance and adventure to prepare for is invigorating!
Heart Check: Are you floating by with your kids or engaging the adventure of parenting?
I’d love to hear YOUR thoughts! What have you learned from your kids?