Ok, the kids are coming home. Unless you are a school employee, you might be thinking, “Are you kidding me? School’s out. Already?!!!” The summer months bring new challenges for families. The daily routine changes. Adjustments must be made.
It is a complicated thing to be a good parent. Proverbs 22:6 says: “Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it.” I know, for Cindy and me, it was not always obvious what that training should involve. Those of you who have children under your care know that a lot of your life is, ostensibly, “about the kids.” You want them to have what you didn’t.
We want them to be well regarded by their peers. We want them to be rich in character and rugged in competition. We want them to have a life filled with the trophies of success. We give them a lot, push them a lot, and worry over them a lot. Much of this is genuinely about providing our kids with stepping stones in life—because we only want the best for them.
Right? Well, mostly right. If honest, I know that not all of the choices I made as a parent were all about the kids. Many were more about me—what would make me feel better about myself.
If we are not extremely careful, our own children and their accomplishments can become just another trophy of our own success. We can drive our kids to ends which serve our own ego more than their long-term interests. We may fail to be honest about their immaturity and hurry them through a time of life they cannot get back. Sometimes we try to fashion them into ideal images of what we would like and miss the miracle they already are.
Now that they are home, take time to get low enough (humble enough) to see as they see, play as they play, and love as they love. Since Jesus said that becoming like a child is the key to entering the kingdom of heaven, then I’m thinking it’ll make for a pretty good summer.