The Final Chapter
What a blessing it has been for us to hear from Dudley once a week for the last four years. His biblical encouragement and practical tools for Christ-centered parenting are unparalleled. Although he won’t be writing for Family Matters we have the opportunity to read his insights through his blog. Enjoy this final chapter from Dudley today.
Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble. 1 Peter 3:8
Scripture is full of final greetings. And this is officially my final greeting to this wonderful Family Matters audience. I’m very pleased with the notion that you will be hearing more from the top-tier staff and leadership within T Bar M camps. They are insightful disciples of Christ, and they have many wonderful perspectives to offer all of us in our parenting journey (me too, since I am a camp Dad as well).
I’ll be involved with camp in several other ways in the future, but less visible in this space. In addition to writing on parenting challenges, I’m dedicating time to address issues of faith, missional living, spiritual maturity and ministry leadership on a new platform. You can subscribe to this (in addition to your faithful Family Matters subsription, of course :-), by clicking here or by visiting my blog site at www.dudleycallison.com.
I’ve been reflecting on many of the devotional themes that stand out over these past years of writing. I leave these final summary thoughts with you as a way of encouraging you to press on in your parenting journey – toward health in your family, marriage, and your walk with the Lord.
Spirituality, like many other things in life, is caught more than it is taught – Your children will be like you in so many ways. They may not admit it, but they naturally pick up on your perspectives, gripes, prejudices, hopes, and values. The question is not, “Will my kids be like me?” The real question is, “When my kids become like me, will they also be acting like Jesus?” Pursue Christ, in all things and in every way. This is the main way you can inspire and lead your kids to pursue Christ.
BE together – The pace of our world is mind-boggling. We DO so many things, all the time, all at once. Opportunities to stop, relax, and reflect are almost non-existent. I would strongly encourage you to swim upstream in this regard. Some of the most treasured moments I’ve known with my family in these past few years have been those times when we sat in our living room with all electronics off, talking about what we did, what it meant, and what we learned from it. Processing life’s moments may be more valuable than the time you spent experiencing life’s moments.
Keep your eyes on the parenting goal – It is easy to get emotionally caught up in the crisis of the day – to react out of anger or the need to correct. But remember that eventually these kids will have to face challenges without us. Our goal is to raise kids who make wise, Godly choices; who grow up to be faithful, productive stewards of God’s blessings. Don’t forget they often learn best when they have to live with the natural consequences of their decisions. This could be a failed test, a lost friendship, a pathetic athletic performance. The older they get, the less we need to rescue them and the more we need to come alongside them to share their pain, and at times to enjoy sharing their joy.
Memorize 1 Peter 3:8 as a family – It will do you all good.
Parenting is hard. Do you know that? It might seem easy because they are mostly in charge. But don’t be fooled, your parents struggle at times to know what is best for you. They could use your love, encouragement, and support as they seek to do a good job raising you. Can you think of something kind to say to Mom or Dad? If so, go say it now.