Parents spend a lifetime caring for their children, from midnight feedings and diaper changes to teaching them to drive a car. Parenting is more than a full-time job and one that never really ends. Even when your children are grown and married, parents never stop influencing or being available to help and serve. I always loved parenting, the good and the not so enjoyable seasons. We never had the “terrible twos.” We decided to have the “terrific twos.” We never expected rebellious teenage years or a time of “sowing wild oats” as some teach. Children are the natural outcome of God’s design for marriage. Watching my grandson chase bubbles or find Easter eggs now brings back a flood of fond parenting memories. To have the privilege of parenting is simply a joy and a gift from our heavenly Father.
Mary and I discovered the most important key in raising children and it wasn’t a new video game, bicycle, larger home, extra allowance or more stuff. We discovered along the path of child rearing the greatest need of a child. We discovered the way in which a child is most secure, happy, and well-adjusted. Was it discipline? Was it maintaining appropriate boundaries? Was it providing for them? Was it loving them? Yes, a thousand times “yes” to each and every one of these most important areas. But, even more importantly, it was when my wife and I made the time to pray for them and then taught them to pray. It was training them to look to Someone outside themselves and their parents. It was training them to depend upon the Source of life, of esteem, of security, of provision, of love and of salvation. He who fears the Lord has a secure fortress, and for his children it will be a refuge. (Proverbs 14:26)