With Father’s Day approaching, I thought I’d share an excerpt from the soon-to-be-released Praying Circling Around Your Children. Releases on July 24. It’s a 112 page mini-book that will be an easy, but hopefully revolutionary read for parents.
I want to be famous in my home.
That is the deepest desire of my heart and the greatest challenge of my life. Parenting our three children is far more difficult and far more important than pastoring thousands of people. Just the other day I said to Lora, “I feel like we’ll finally figure out this parenting thing the same day our kids leave home!” The truth is, we’ll never figure it out because children are moving targets. Right when you think you have them pegged, they become toddlers or teenagers or twenty-somethings and you’re right back at square one. All you can do is learn a few lessons along the way and enjoy the journey.
So right at the outset, let me give you some bad news, some good news, and some great news.
The bad news first: you’ll make lots of mistakes.
You’ll lose your patience. You’ll lose your temper. You might even lose your mind a time or two. If you feel like a failure at the end of most days, welcome to my world. My parenting ineptitude is epitomized by one shining moment when my oldest son, Parker, was a toddler. He had a fitful night full of tears and I couldn’t understand why. Then he crawled into our room in the middle of the night. I was too tired to take him back to his bed so I reached down to pull him into ours. That’s when I realized why he had been crying. A bare butt was the tip off that I had forgotten to put a diaper on him when I put him to bed the night before.
It’s amazing our kids even survive our parenting isn’t it?
While we’re on the subject, the word diaper spelled backwards is repaid. So apropos!
Now here’s the good news: your worst mistakes double as your greatest opportunities.
How will your kids learn to apologize unless you model it for them, to them? Your mistakes give you the opportunity to teach them one of the most important lessons they’ll ever learn: how to say sorry.
I have a very simple parenting philosophy that boils down to just three words: please, sorry, and thanks. If all else fails, I want to teach my kids to be really good at saying and doing those three things. If they master those three things, they’re well on their way to a great marriage, a great friendship, or a great relationship with God.
Finally, here’s the great news: prayer covers a multitude of sins.
You don’t have to do everything right, but there is one thing you cannot afford to get wrong. That one thing is prayer. You’ll never be a perfect parent, but you can be a praying parent. Prayer is your greatest opportunity and responsibility as a parent. In fact, prayer turns ordinary parents into prophets who shape the destinies of their children, grandchildren, and every generation that follows.