I’m a grandmother now. All three of our kids have homes of their own and children of their own. I’m at the stage when it’s interesting to reminisce about the period of life when the children were younger and still at home. One of the great things about this is that you tend to forget how tired you were at the time and only remember the good times you had together.
Not long ago I was going back through some files and found I had written down a number of lessons I learned while raising children. Perhaps I should call them “principles,” because I was not totally successful at implementing them, but they were guiding principles of parenting that I believe are important.
- A strong home is not one in which its members have no weaknesses, but one in which each knows how to handle in love the others’ failings. In other words, a Christian home is not perfect, but love should be abundantly present because God lives there, and He is love (1 John 4:8).
- As a parent, I do not want to be a warden but a shepherd. Oh, yes, sometimes we, parents, have to maintain law and order, but I endeavored to do it with the heart of a shepherd, who cares for each of the sheep and doesn’t want to lose one of them.
- Because the mother is the heart of a home, I wanted to provide a positive, spiritually healthy atmosphere for children to grow in, not just be an ambulance to pick up the pieces if they crashed. Stressing the importance of doing right is equally important with teaching them not to do wrong.
- I don’t care so much if the kids remember what I say. What counts is to live a genuine life, whose “walkable” example they can follow.
Strange, but I never thought I’d be sharing those principles. But we do learn from one another. I hope they will help you.