I am the proud father of three beautiful girls, and my wife and I just found out that No. 4 is on the way.
Ten years ago, when my wife was pregnant with our first, the response from people was overwhelmingly positive. “Congratulations!” “Wow, that’s incredible” and “Praise God, I’m so excited for you guys” were the common responses. However, now that we are announcing No. 4, the response is markedly different. Most people have given us some version of the following: “Oh, wow… No. 4, huh? Were you planning on that?” It’s almost as though the comments now bring with them an undertone that borders on disapproval, or maybe it’s just all in my head. The fact of the matter is that parenting one child, four children or a dozen children carries with it the same enormous responsibility. Parents are the most important influence in the trajectory of a child’s life. Furthermore, with a majority of our kids now spending much of their waking hours in school and school-related activities, focused and quality time at home has never been more important.
With all of that said, I thought I would provide you with something we have shared with the parents in our church family as a part of our children’s ministry. I call it “Five Things that Every Kid Needs,” and as you start a new school year, I hope this provides a helpful resource to the responsibility of parenting. What are the five things? Here you go….
• A really big God they can trust, no matter what. Kids need to grow up knowing that God is big enough to handle whatever they are facing.
• Someone else who believes what they believe. Kids need friends who support them and encourage them to grow in their faith. This is huge.
• Another voice saying the same things parents say. As children grow older, it becomes more important to have other adults in their lives as spiritual mentors and leaders.
• Uncommon sense to help them make wise choices. God’s point of view and His truth should be the filter for how kids view life and make decisions.
• Nosy parents who know where their kids are spiritually. Kids need parents who will be intentional about spending time together as a family and staying actively involved in their children’s spiritual growth.
Go over this list again, and write the bold items on a note card or put them on the fridge or bathroom mirror as a reminder. Faith in God, good friends, solid mentors, uncommon sense and nosy parents are five things that every kid needs. Remind yourself of them daily and work toward putting them in place. My prayers are with you. Mothers and fathers have the most important job in the world, and I pray that as you begin a new school year, you would train your kids up in a way that honors God. God bless.