This past weekend our pastor John Dickerson spoke on raising the next generation, encouraging us as parents (and grandparents) to teach our children the ways of the Lord and to live a life that demonstrates those ways. He spoke from Psalm 112:
Praise the Lord! How joyful are those who fear the Lord and delight in obeying his commands. Their children will be successful everywhere; an entire generation of godly people will be blessed. (v 1-2)
I wasn’t able to be there in person because Connie took me away for a surprise weekend as part of my 60th birthday month. She told me how to pack, let it slip that we were going to Chicago, and that’s all I knew. When we walked in to our Airbnb, three people came out of hiding and yelled “Surprise!” It was our three children!!! What a FANTASTIC weekend we had, with the generation we raised.
I know I could have done many things better as Connie and I raised our children. Part of their journey now is thinking back on what we did and why. It looks different to them now as adults, and as parents of their own children. We are not done speaking into the lives of our kids, but it’s done now as adults to adults. As they think back, we are there to answer their questions. It is an ongoing journey that ends only at death.
Part of this journey as our kids became adults was deciding which battles to fight. We did our best to be there for crises and life events, which they appreciated and wanted. But we also spoke sometimes when we shouldn’t have. It wasn’t time for a debate or rethinking. They had made up their adult minds. So Connie and I decided several years back that the battles we would fight would be the battles where we all win. We chose communication and love.
Open communication and love for each other happened all weekend in Chicago.
- “Mom and Dad, a lot of our friends don’t have parents who will listen like you do.”
- We had a discussion on the Bible and its believability
- We danced at a blues lounge
- We reminisced a lot, laughed
- They shared their hopes and dreams for the future, and we are included
I think the highlight of the this 60th birthday weekend was being a parent, still in relationship with my kids who still want to be with us and interact on whatever, wherever. Raising my kids is done, but processing the implications of those years with them is a lifelong activity. Parenting at this stage takes on a different form (includes grandchildren!) and we continue to be involved in all their lives as devoted followers of Christ, to bless them and their generation.
Til next week,
Happy birthday Dan!!
Oh, I love this, so much!
Happy birthday Dan. Yes you are a role model, and not just for your kids.
You are one of the kindest men I know. As you looked out your window and saw me struggling to carry a picnic basket of food and came to my rescue to carry my load, I think of Jesus and the load He carried for me when He carried the cross. Oh to manifest Him in ways of service as you. Thank you Dan and I pray your birthday will continue all year.