Lately, I have been thinking about the role of motherhood. You see, I just got an advanced degree in it. What do I mean? Well, I am a new grandmother! I had the privilege to be with our son and daughter-in-law when they had their daughter. What an honor to be there! Of course, during this time, I was reflecting on many things that have to do with family. Two, in particular, struck me.
First, there is a renewed sense of the importance of legacy when you are holding a little person in your arms and realize that your heart suddenly grew even larger. I mean, how many people, when you meet them for the first time, would you be able to say, “I would take a bullet for you!”?
As I held this amazing little one, I was overcome with love for her. Of course, I felt that with each of my own children, but I had time to bond with them over the duration of the pregnancy. This was a smack-in-the-face kind of love, and the idea of generations took on new meaning. It gave me a better understanding of the importance of leaving a legacy and sharing the wonders of God’s world and His word.
Then I noticed my son holding her and realized I was watching him for the first time as a dad. He is a father, not just my son. I think back to the days when he was little and remember sweet times when we read together on the couch. I also remember the challenging times when we were training him. I remember the school days when we worked so hard on that difficult concept and all I could think about was the possibility that we would ALWAYS be on this subject and NEVER be able to move on!
But now, he is a head of a household. He is working at a wonderful job, building a relationship with his amazing wife, and leading a family.
I wondered if there was anything we forgot to tell him. Did we prepare him for this?
These are the things that we all as parents think about. Are we teaching our children the things they need to know to prepare them for life? Frankly, there is just not enough time to do that in a short 18 years or so.
Not to worry.
Let me use education as an example. There is just not enough time to teach a child everything there is to know about everything in their K-12 education. No matter how hard they (and you) work, you probably won’t get to cover 13th century Chinese literature or the string theory in science.
But if you teach them how to LEARN, and where to find information, then when they realize they don’t know something, they are confident to go find out. They know where to go for the information they need. They are self-learners. Of course, to do this, you must model it, too. You as a parent have to work to love learning yourself. You need to be an example of one who searches out information you need to know or want to know. Life is full of opportunities to learn, and what a privilege we have to be able to continue to educate ourselves!
Now for the preparing-for-life thing. There is just not enough time or opportunity to prepare our children for every life situation.
But we can teach them where to find that information. If you are teaching your children biblical principles, then you are giving them a solid foundation on which they can build their relationships and character. They have a place to go to when they need guidance. By searching God’s word and building a relationship with Him, they can seek wisdom for any situation they come up against.
So, yes, I think my son is prepared for life. We haven’t gone over all the possible things he might experience in his career, within his marriage, or as a parent. But we have covered what God says in His word. We have covered the importance of building a relationship with Him. And we have covered the importance of character and hard work. I believe these things will give him what he needs as a father, husband, and a man!