I’ve been praying lately that my kids would be a positive influence to others. I want them to influence others more than they are influenced themselves. I want their character to become contagious.
This is an area I struggled with as a teen, and still often do.
I know what my beliefs and convictions are, and there is no compromise in that regard, but my attitude and personality often shift depending on who I am with. (Just ask Angela.)
I’m learning more than ever as a Dad, not only do I need to deal with my own “issues,” but I need to teach my kids how to navigate through the same waters. Sometimes even at the same time, (and our oldest is only 4!)
That being said, I truly believe we would be doing our kids a disservice if we fail to disclose some of our own shortcomings to them. (With careful consideration of course.)
Without sharing these experiences, our kids will grow up with the unrealistic perspective that perfection is expected (and attainable) this side of heaven. I need to show my kids that I’m not a flawless father figure, and I recognize that I am responsible for showing them where my sights are set (and to help them line up their own.) We as parents have such an awesome responsibility.
Alongside being influential, I want each of them to spend the necessary time following (as they grow and learn), but not a moment longer than required.
Let me explain.
We aren’t designed to be followers our entire lives. There will come a time for each of the kids to trek out on their own once Angela and I have equipped them with all we can. Angela and I made a covenant to God (in front of our church family) to give each of our kids every benefit of home, church, and education. We take it seriously, this is a tremendous responsibility.
As a side note, I would be foolish to say that we’re the only ones equipping our kids for real life. They will have Grandparents, Sunday School Teachers, Pastors, Mentors, as well as other friends and family helping as well. We are so blessed to have such an awesome direct and church “family.”
The longer I am a parent, the more I realize it’s just as much training up children as it is correcting myself and going through training myself to ensure I am practicing what I am teaching.
I too am a work I progress.