The heat of summer is on, which for my family means camping.
We love getting outdoors. We love parking our fifth wheel in some remote location where the sounds of nature are not drowned out by cars and busyness.
When there’s a lake nearby, the first thing my boys do is grab rocks to throw into the water. And the bigger the better. For them, it’s all about the splash.
Me? I’m intrigued by the ripples. Long after the splash is over, the ripples continue to spread outward well beyond the place from which they originated.
How far into the future do you think your influence as a parent will ripple?
Next week? Next year? Until your child reaches adulthood?
The truth is, your influence as a parent will be felt for generations to come.
Parents have the ability to positively influence their family’s future more than they think. The lessons about character and integrity you’re working so hard to instill into your kids’ lives are not merely for their benefit today. What they learn from you will reverberate down through the years into future generations.
It’s amazing to consider. Not only are you passing on important lessons about life, faith, and family to your children, but you’re passing on those lessons to your grandkids and generations beyond.
Youth expert and author Doug Fields says there are several things you can do to create a relationship with your son or daughter that will allow life’s most important values to transmit:
- Encouraging words. Your words can instill confidence in your children or destroy their hope.
- Genuine affection. Children have “skin hunger.” They need physical affection in appropriate ways, so they don’t seek it out in inappropriate ways.
- Delicate discipline. Guide your children with disciplined love, not angry punishment. Yelling doesn’t work. Instead, help your children exercise their power of choice and learn to deal with the consequences.
- Responsibility is not genetic. They have to learn it. Don’t bring them the lunch they forgot.
- Serious Fun. Today’s generation of kids is stressed out. Christian parents need to lead the way in “leaking fun.”
The book of Mark says of Jesus, “And he took a child and put him in the midst of them, and taking him in his arms, he said to them, ‘Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me, receives not me but him who sent me’” (9:36-37).
When you welcome a child, you welcome Jesus. That’s one reason parenting is such a high calling. It’s much more than a job or an obligation. It’s a life purpose. One of the most spiritual things you can do is to invest yourself into your children.
On our Focus on the Family Broadcast “Making Parenting Fun,” we’re airing a recorded message from Doug Fields that will encourage you as a parent and help you understand the significant influence you have on your children.
Doug and his wife Cathy have co-authored a book titled Intentional Parenting: 10 Ways to Be an Exceptional Parent in a Quick-Fix World. We’d like to offer you a copy for a gift of any amount. Check our website for details. The book includes a free code enabling you to stream ten video sessions online. There’s also a small group discussion guide in case you’d like to watch with a group of friends.
And while you’re on our website, why not save a few minutes to take our free parenting assessment? It will quickly give you an overview of how your family is doing in several key areas and offer suggestions on how you can improve the relationships in your home.