Parenting 101

January 24, 2012

Sometimes I am not sure I deserve kids as great as mine are. Sometimes I think I got exactly what I should expect. My wife and I entered into this joint venture called parenting with our eyes wide shut. Most parents start families that way. There is this pull to populate the earth which usually leads to a crowded bathroom at some point.

I remember having an ambiguous discussion about being ready to “start a family”. It was followed by a million family experts tell me that you are never ready to start a family. It was a strange way of encouragement. It is a lot like telling a car buyer that they can't possibly be prepared to handle their own transportation. I have never had a banker tell me that I will never be ready to save money. I think I really disagree with that statement, “never ready.” Besides we really knew we were going to need help keeping up with the lawn.

On the wall wrapping around our family room is a creed. I think it would be cool if it looked like real flames, like the inside of the ring that Frodo wore but I couldn't find paint that did that. I used blue.

I guess our creed was designed to help us figure out what families were all about. My first draft had to go through some major revisions given the nature of the child labor laws but eventually we got it right. That is important because it took a long time to paint it around the room. I don't plan on repainting it for a while.

Here are the seven things that we said our family would be about.
1. Love each other abundantly
2. Protect each other relentlessly
3. Pray for each other tirelessly
4. Guide each other cautiously
5. Honor and respect each other endlessly
6. Enjoy each other abundantly
7. Bring glory to God ultimately

I know it reads a bit like a Charles Stanley sermon but it works for us. I was also in love with modifiers at the time. I walk into our family room a lot and read it. It's been a good reminder when your kids are fighting or when you've seen what their teenage rooms look like. I still think there should have been a clause about scratching Dad's back vigorously.

In the next few blogs I want to spend some time talking about parents. Mostly about how I see these seven guides rolling out in people's families.

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