At first, I thought, while good, there wasn’t really much ‘new’ or ‘revolutionary’ inside. I have read a ton of parenting books over the past 8 years, always trying to hone my skills and figure this thing out. I kept reading however, and I am SO glad I did.
Over the past several months, I have been trying to steer us from an authoritarian, “you must obey because I’m your parent” style of parenting to a more grace based, Jesus like, relationships are more important than blind obedience, grace filled family. It is HARD. Hard because it challenges me more, it challenges the way I grew up and the habits I already have in place. But it is also GOOD. Good because I feel like I am doing it more Biblically.
And this book, oh this book, came into my life at just the right time.
It is FULL of takeaway nuggets, real life application, references to the Bible, other parents’ experiences, thought provoking questions, and prayers. It is set up to easily do with a book club or small group. There is so much to think about and apply, I can’t recommend getting the book enough. It’s available on Amazon or CBD, and at your local bookstore. You should also request your library buy it.
Parenting is singularly one of the most difficult challenges you will ever undertake. You often feel unappreciated, like the bad guy, guilty or that you are doing it wrong. This letter is a real encouragement to me, and hopefully to you as well.
Dear Mom and Dad,
Thank you for the gift of life. I am grateful that you believed in my potential to be a blessing to you and to the people I will meet during my lifetime. I thank God for placing you in my life.
Whatever happens from this moment forward, one thing will never change. Ia m your child and you are my parents, forever. You will always be the living images of the words “Father” and “Mother” that I carry with me all the days of my life. Whatever you teach me about love and what is important in life will mold my view of the world.
Before things get too hectic, I want to thank you in advance for the sacrifices you will make on my behalf so that I may grow into the person God intends me to be. Thank you for all the busy days and sleepless nights that you will invest in caring for my needs. Thank you for praying for wisdom in how to guide me through all the pain and mistakes I will experience as I grow. Thank for standing firm when I test your patience so that I may learn obedience.
Thank you for your encouragement and discipline. Thank you for listening to me even when my arguments don’t make sense and my frustrations spill over. Thank you for letting me fail, when failure is the best teacher and humility is the lesson. Thank you for picking me up and dusting me off when I fall, so I will not be discouraged as I learn.
Thank you for all the times you will comfort me with the hugs and kisses that always make things better. Thank you for cleaning up the messes I make, and then teaching me how to clean them up myself. Thank you for teaching me to value what is important to God. Thank you for teaching me that love includes forgiveness, compassion, apologies, accountability, as well as patience, kindness, generosity, humility, courtesy, good temper unselfishness, grace and sincerity. Thank you for saying no when what I ask is not in my best interest. Thank you for enduring my seasons of rebellion that will come with the growing pains of becoming an adult.
Thank you for making it easier to obey you by keeping the rules simple, the consequences consistent, the standards for success attainable, praising my progress, explaining why, and most of all, modeling the behaviors and attitudes you want me to develop.
My prayer is that God will bless you with the wisdom and the courage to raise me in such a way that I will grow to understand what it means to have faith in the love of God, to believe in His Word, and to obey His commandments.
Love, Your Precious Child
Excerpted from Lead Your Family Like Jesus, a Focus on the Family book published by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. Copyright © 2013 by The Center for Faithwalk Leadership/Lead Like Jesus. Used by permission. To purchase a copy of the book, please visit http://family.christianbook.com
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