Monday, February 21, 2011

Paradigm #8: How we view the responsibility of parenting—very serious involving much thought and planning or not

Without a vision....the family perishes...

When our older children were little, Ray worked twelve hours every day minimum. He left at 6:30 in the morning and never got home before 6:30 in the evening, though it was often eight o’clock when he arrived home. Because of his work schedule and because we had certain goals and schedules that we wanted to keep with our children, we were fairly regimented about how we used our days and evenings.

Friends often did not understand us. They would say things like, “You’re taking this parenting stuff too seriously; it doesn’t have to be that hard,” and “Lighten up a little,” etc. when they wanted us to be more “free spirited” and flexible. We knew that with Ray’s work schedule, we didn’t have the luxury of running around in the evenings or of skipping our family time too many nights in a row.

That strict schedule actually forced us to become the learning-and-playing-together family that we are today. We didn’t have any time to spare during those early days. And, those “strict scheduled days” actually led us to adopt our “three or four evenings a week all together” tradition that has kept our family together and strong for twenty-eight years.

The Bible tells us that without a vision, people perish. We believe the same can happen to our family. We will get into some of the ways we have planned our family’s “life” in the coming weeks, but for now, if we just grasp the idea that our children’s spiritual, character, and moral training are important enough to spend time planning and thinking about, we will look at each day differently than we previously did.

Parenting is serious work—and a huge responsibility. While spontaneous family fun is amazing—we cannot overlook the fact that we are stewards and overseers of the little souls entrusted to us. And that is nothing short of serious—and eternally crucial.

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