Parenting, what a concept! It still amazes me that just 20 years ago our first child was miraculously brought into the world. It seems like just yesterday. Unlike most parents, who have little or no knowledge of positive parenting, my wife Karen and I had studied extensively on the topic. Of course, neither book learning nor practical experience such as day care, baby-sitting, etc. can truly prepare someone for the impact and change that an ever so small yet precious child can bring into their life.
However versed you may be in the act and service of care giving more can be learned.
This book attempts to succinctly yet fully provide to the reader a clear understanding of how to purposely, with goal and direction, raise children in this most complex world. The combined wisdom of over twenty years of counseling troubled families, mixed with biblical wisdom are shared with a dash of humor and a spot of realism. Remember, if perfect parenting was a requirement for anything, even God would fail the test. Adam and Eve are just the beginning.
The focus that is presented here is based upon a basic premise, which is very important for the reader to consider. It is based upon a very unique theory, I think. That is, “If I would have never had parents, I would have never had a problem.” Most of you will grasp that momentarily, because this is a reality in our lives. If we would have never had parents, we would never have had a problem. There is only one small glitch with my theory, “If we never had parents, we would not be here!”
There is no such thing as a perfect parent. There are all different kinds, in all different shapes, sizes and colors with different temperaments, different styles of discipline, teaching and training. They run in style from hands on constantly, to totally hands off. Many have had parents who have been wonderful blessings and others have had parents that the very thought of brings anxiety into their lives.
In this volume we are going to look at several important concepts. First, what is parenting really all about. Secondly, the purpose that God has for everyone called to the role of parent. We will also explore the similarities that can be found in children, and a number of different concepts with practical application of those concepts for our individual lives as parents.
Murphy’s Law of Parenthood: A Perspective
In truth, what many parents’ experience is called Murphy’s Law of Parenthood. It will be helpful to look at these things, because they will provide a humorous perspective on what we are going to be discussing in this book.
- If your baby sleeps for eight consecutive hours, none of those hours will fall between 11 PM and 7 AM. How many parents have suffered this, especially with brand new babies?
- The number of times your child will ask why is directly proportional to the length of the book you are reading them. If it is one of those children’s books with only a word or two per page, they won’t say anything, but if you are in a hurry and they ask for a Dr. Seuss’ book, not a page will go by without them asking, “Why are those eggs green?” Children are quite curious of course. Have you ever noticed?
- The day your new carpeting is installed, your child will introduce you to projectile vomiting. Unless, of course, it is stain master carpet in which case the child will manage to hit either the sofa or the recliner, whichever one has not been treated with scotch guard. Children have wonderful ways of expressing themselves!
- When you finally have your new pastor over for dinner, your child will utter their first word. The good news is that their enunciation is perfect, the bad news is the word that leaves their lips is the worst word you can imagine.I love Sunday School. Children say the strangest things about mom and dad, especially about things they did last night. “You know what they said about pastor!” You ought to sneak in there sometimes and hear what the children have to say.
- Just when you have convinced your pastor that your child did not know what he was saying, the child will utter the second word of their life. The good news is, it is not the same as the first word. The bad news is you realized that their first word was not really the worst one you could have imagined.
- When you dress your child in underwear instead of a diaper, they will refuse to tell you when they have to go potty. The only exception is when you are in a baseball stadium filled with fifty-five thousand screaming fans. It is the bottom of the ninth with the bases loaded and your team is down by three that is when your child will utter the words you have been waiting a month to hear. “Daddy, I have to go potty.”
- Earlier that day you read a magazine article suggesting that if you ignore them now, they will get some kind of complex and become a chronic bed wetter until their college graduation. Or, worse perhaps, your favorite player keeps fouling off three and two pitches until you arrive at the men’s room at which point the batter belts a history making grand slam. There is no justice in this world!
- The first time your child makes you proud by answering the phone all by themselves, you will find out they hung up on Ed McMahan.
- If you are watching your weight, your child will not touch the food they insisted on ordering at a restaurant and you will feel obligated not to let it go to waste.
- If you go out to eat and intentionally order light anticipating the opportunity to clean your child’s plate, they will finish every last bite.
(Source unknown, my apologies and thanks).
Children are wonderfully and incredibly unpredictable. They are marvelous. They are called in the Bible, “gifts from God.” They are a gift that keeps on taking. I’ve heard prospective parents say, “Well, we’re going to wait a few years until we can afford children.” You can never afford them. Nor can you make more money than they have the ability to spend.
It is amazing what children can do to alter your lifestyle. Most people, when they get married, start out with absolute wedded bliss. They are happy. Remember those days of being happy. Some of you still remember those days; when you were…happy. You know, that was before the children arrived. Now, of course you had this wonderful child come into your house because you wanted to express your love.
Ha, ha, ha, ha. Somebody sang a song, “What’s love got to do with it?” Later you will look back and say, “Why? We had a good world. Why did we want to mess it up with children?”
Children do change our lives. They change our lives dramatically because of the very nature that children have, which is one of total dependence upon us to care for them. Most of us know, from a serious viewpoint, that it is a great privilege to have children and a privilege to raise them. It is a wonderful thing to see your children succeed, grow and hopefully become better than what you ever dreamed you could become. Most parents I talk with have great dreams and hopes for their children. Unfortunately, children have their own agenda, and at times can stray in unpleasant even dangerous directions. Parenting On Purpose will lay a foundation that can provide for better and more informed choices. However, ultimately, children will eventually exercise their God given right to choose.