The pic above is from August 2011. That is the day that Sugar Hill Church allowed me to become their pastor.
Most of you know that Jenny and I have six daughters. Count them – Amy (married to a great guy), Sarah (busy career girl), Amelia (married to a great guy), Julie (another busy career girl, with a great boyfriend) Abby (college sophomore and Phi Mu girl) and Samantha (college freshman and Phi Mu girl). That’s a lot of joy, a lot of celebrations and a lot of heartache, pain and fretful nights.
God says that kids are a gift from the Lord. Well, let me state on this side of parenting; There were days when I thought we won the booby prize and not the jackpot! And I’ll bet you have too. Parenting children isn’t for the faint of heart. But I love my kids with all my heart!
At infancy, they can challenge your sanity.
At elementary school, they can drive you to drink…more.
At high school, they disown you publicly and abandon you in your home.
At college, they discover a whole new world, with a new set of consequences.
At marriage, they return to you (on their terms).
At children, they need you more than ever.
At your time of physical breakdown, they will love you more than ever.
At your death, they will remember that you loved them every day.
Like I said, it’s not for the faint of heart.
But kids are a gift from the Lord. They will break your heart and leave you wondering what you did wrong. They will make stupid choices because they must know more than ever knew. They will date people that make your skin crawl. They will do things, say things and become things you swore your kid would never do, say, or become. Your kids will do things that you could never have imagined as you strapped them into the car seat for the first time leaving the hospital.
But there will also be times when you see them trust God, live for God and love their family. You’ll rejoice as they celebrate as a family, when they need your shoulder to cry on and when you offer a heart of loving wisdom listening to them explaining why their heart is broken.
Here are two ways to avoid Heartbreak Hill with your kids:
- Grace, Grace and More Grace! Extend grace in love, forgiveness and in correction. When they are 30, you will be so glad that you did.
- Consistency! If you want to see your kids grow into the man or woman God intends them to be, you must model consistency in your attitudes, habits, language and spiritual development. The fastest way to lose your child’s adoration is to be inconsistent in your walk with God.
Children have a BS meter that can read you from a hundred meters. They crave your consistency. If I could change one thing, and only one thing in my parenting, I would intentionally focus on a consistent walk with God.
When some dude preaches my funeral, I sure hope my kids don’t remember how I served the church or gave them cool gifts. I pray they would say that their daddy loved them and never stopped loving them. I pray that they would say “my dad loved God because I saw that in him.” I pray that they remember the countless games I sat on a field or a gym watching them. I pray they will remember that I was there for them. I pray that their reflections of their dad will be filled with the realization that I treated them like the treasure they are, for God has blessed me with great kids and now with super-cool grandkids.
I love you, girls!
–AChuck and Daddy