Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Parenting 202. Our Core Beliefs

As we head into parenting 202 with a couple of our kids. I was talking with my Hunka hubby the other night and we were discussing our two teens and how things have shifted as they transition from kids to young adults. Two teenagers in this house come August and I had a startling moment of realizing this fact. Two teenagers, a 9 year old, 6 year old and a four year old who is just learning English and how to live in a family. Its a good time in our house I tell you!

Let me be real. I am not the perfect mom. (I know I know, this is a shocker) I wish I could tell you I'm always happy, always filled with joy, and never get upset with my kids. HA. Ask them. They'll tell you. In that, I know my short comings and my daily prayer is that the grace I have been given by my King is the same grace that will pour out of me onto my kids. I want them to see Jesus in me. I want them to experience the power of the gospel by watching their Dad and I. If they see nothing else I would be a happy Mom. (On my to read list is Give Them Grace by Elyse Fitzpatrick)

As I was praying the other day I was thinking about the legacy I want to leave my kids, the things that David and I consider our core family values. How do you implement those in your family and make them stick?
I would say for our family at our very core is the gospel. Jesus. His redemption on the cross. That is what drives us. It is our reason for living. Beyond that, love. I want my kids to know that NOTHING, absolutely NOTHING could change my love for them.

Unconditional love is an interesting thing as a human being. We are kind of a conditional people whether we like it or not. We have to be careful that we don't get caught up in manipulation and leaving even a hint of loving more or less based on actions. I always tell my kids and my husband that I'll screw up, I'll hurt them unintentionally, I'll get mad, I'll sin and even disappoint them. They will also do the same, but even in all of those things I will love them forever. I will love them because God loved me first, I will fight for them because of Christs redemption for me. I wouldn't want it any other way. Unconditional love is something that is demonstrated perfectly by God. I long to be like my Father in heaven.

Next to the gospel and love I'd have to say a third thing we find so incredibly valuable to the health of our family is time spent. There is no replacement for the time you invest in your kids/family. Nothing. You can't get those years back. You can't work less when your kids are grown and hope you can work on the relationship then. Our time is now. Its worth the investment. Having our kids' hearts now is so important for their future and ours. Just like marriage, the work needs to happen now, not later. When the kids are gone all you have is each other.

Those three values flush out in different ways but it is what drives our rules of no picking on one another, no physical harm, no mean words, and no belittling. Those things can rip a family apart in no time flat. We demand respect of one another and the kids know it. They feel safe and secure because of it. To build into that practice we ask for kindness, gratitude, and helping one another. Do they always? No. They are human. But we combat issues by spending lots of time together and working through those things as a family. Having a little sister who likes to get into things gives them many opportunities to practice this grace. :)

I'm curious on what some of things are that you do in raising your kids, I know so many families with amazing kids and incredible young adults. What things do you find most valuable as they get older?


Erica said...
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Janet said...

I love your honesty! The gospel is core for our family, and I want them to know the love God has for them. I just started working on 1 Corinthians 13 with them. I want them to have a greater understanding of love... how we receive it, and how we give it. We're exploring each definition of what love is, and what it is not. Again, we JUST started, but so far have had some great conversations about showing love through patience. This is working into a great mommy lesson as well!

Carla said...

sounds like we read the same parenting manual :) Those would be our families core values as well...which often go directly against the current of the culture in which we live.
p.s I love your new family photo!

Jaclyn M said...

I LOVE this post. My kids are still young, and I am learning new things about parenting each day. I gave a talk in church last Sunday about Christ's attributes. Wouldn't it be amazing if we could "master" the pure love of Christ. I try and I fail. Then I try harder and fail again. The nice thing is that I know love and that I will continue to try for the rest of eternity :) Thanks for this post!!

Rachel said...

Preach it sister. Navigating these murky waters along with you...trusting in the Captain. (How was that for a cheesy cliche?! hahaha...sorry it just slipped out)

Let me say, on a more serious note...I see the gospel at work in your kids. Love em. : )

Shelly Roberts said...

I SO appreciate this post! I especially love how you share about the need to spend TIME with our kids. We have just neared the end of the journey with our oldest {yet beginning a new one}. I can't stress enough the importance of building RELATIONSHIP with your kids. It needs to start when they are little. But it's never to late to work on it. The teen years can hold some of the richest blessings!