If you haven’t noticed, Steve and I have a passion for our family. We keep an eye trained on our own, like investors monitoring the stock market. Our family is our life, our heritage – our future – being built right now. As such, it deserves top priority and the best of our energy.
The foundation of the life we share with our children is our own faith. We want Adrienne and Addison to serve God with us, of course. But more than that, we want them to do everything with us – travel, exploring, hiking, movie nights, and projects. As I once told a friend, “We had them to have them.” The life we are leading we lead together as a solid family, headed in the same direction. Our kids will gain autonomy and independence, but the commonalities we develop right now will keep us connected our whole lives. To Steve and I, this is the very essence of family. I missed it growing up, but now relish the chance to establish it purposefully.
A Freeze Frame Moment
Recently, our family traveled to Kentucky. My husband is a talented sound engineer; so we occasionally accompany our friend’s worship band. This particular event was a conference held in a massive auditorium. The kids and I met up with Steve at the conclusion, while the band was loading their instruments. The crowd was gradually moving our direction, eager to meet our friend Dustin, the band’s leader. Out of the cadence of voices greeting him floated a sentence that arrested me. “My teenage son used to hate worship, until he heard you this summer at camp.”
I don’t know this family but I’m so very glad they were impacted. That is precisely what should happen when we assemble as a church. Still, overhearing that statement stopped me in my tracks. What if this were our son? What if we had such a disconnect between who we are and who our child is becoming?
We refuse to adopt a casual, wait-and-see plan. As I said, we have a vision for a thriving, lifelong family connection. To arrive at this endpoint, we must be steady on a certain course. A son who detests something like worship, foundational to our faith, means we aren’t truly going in the direction we intended. It’s time for a course correction.
I’m not talking about harsh discipline, which shames a young man for feeling this way. If it were our son, I would first check myself: is he is simply reflecting a lackluster faith he sees at home? I might alter the parenting strategy we’re employing. Obviously, he needs more time with us in order to become like us. He needs to hear our own collection of faith stories, the journey that got us to where we are in our relationships with God. Out of our treasure trove of stories, we share regularly with Adrienne and Addison – and not just when we are reading the Bible together before school. How to Win Your Child’s Heart
We look for ways to be invited deeper into our kid’s lives. If we want them to know God like we do, we must win their hearts the way He has won ours. What are they interested in that we can be a part of? How can we use it to connect on a more regular basis? For example, our kids love to read; so when I see them with a book, I often grab my own and snuggle up with them. Adrienne enjoys crafts so we hit Hobby Lobby and then head home for messy glue gun and glitter sessions. Addison is a daredevil so Steve built him a BMX bike ramp and they do crazy stunts, offering GoPro videography for later analysis. If we want them to stay connected to us, it’s a two-way street.
Strike While the Iron is Hot
It’s essential that we build our families intentionally, with a vision and a plan. Imagine what you want the future to look like and begin shepherding your family in that direction. We unearth so much joy and so much beauty in this process.
Oh, that every family seizes this beautiful opportunity while the window of time is still open!
Powerful words friend
Thank you. It’s been a couple weeks since I’ve had time to write. This has all been piling up inside.
Really liked this! We are trying to do this even now as Caswell is so young. We have found that he really is drawn to certain toys, songs, etc. He already (at 16 months) has interests! We hope to keep this going as he gets older. Being involved in whatever he loves!
One day you’ll look back and notice all these things about him actually point to the man he is made to be. It will help you know how exactly to train him “in the way HE should go.”
So true! Thanks for sharing and reminding:)
Thank you for reading it!
❤️ this! I have 2 young adult sons and a teenage daughter and I miss those days of biking around the neighborhood or spontaneous trips to the park. We still enjoy each other’s company which I believe is the fruit of the investment of hours of long talks and hanging out. Their is no short cut to this and you must be intentional. The fruit is wonderful with intentional investment of time.
Well said, bravo! Yes, love what you have with your family. And Jerome- what a great dad and choice of partner he is to you.