“Sometimes we’re so concerned about giving our children what we never had growing up, we neglect to give them what we did have growing up.” ~James Dobson
I was blessed with a lot during my childhood. While I know there were tight times financially, and not everything in our home was perfect all the time, I had Christian parents who loved me, and three siblings that are now truly my friends.
I realize that not everyone has grown up in a similar situation; even those who also lived in Christian homes knew struggles and difficulties. Whether your background holds good memories or bad, I know that God can ultimately bring glory to Himself through what we’ve each experienced.
Regardless of how we spent our early years, most of us as parents have hopes and dreams for our own children. Whether it’s material things we want them to have, financial benefits, specific opportunities, or development in a particular skill, we want the best for our kids. And while all of those can be good things, we want to make sure that they’re also receiving the best things.
After hearing Dr. Dobson’s statement, I realized that there were a number of specific things that I had as a child that I want to make sure my own children have as well.
1. Parents who lived out Christ in our home. I’m a pastor’s kid, so to me, this was a big deal. I can honestly say that I never saw a hint of hypocrisy in our home. How I want my girls to be able to say that! I want to not just talk the talk, but walk the walk.
2. Wisdom that came from God’s Word and life experience. Both of my parents shaped my life by the wisdom they shared. My dad’s famous for saying things like “Life’s not fair,” and “Attitude is everything,” both of which are principles that have served me well as I’ve walked through life. We’re attempting to pass those on to our children. Daily I realize how attuned I need to be to the Holy Spirit if I want to share with our children wisdom for what they face.
3. The knowledge that people are more important than things. The couple of times I banged up the family car as a teenage driver, I always knew that what was most important was that I was okay. Vehicles – or whatever the damaged object was – could be replaced.
4. The prayers of Godly parents. This is a gift that I am immensely blessed to still have today.
5. The need to work. I think all four of us kids had jobs while we were in high school. My parents certainly still took care of us financially, but we all learned to go to work and take on responsibility. I want our girls to do the same thing, to build their character and learn how to function in the work place.
Can you think of something you had as a child that you want to pass on to your children?