Oh My Goodness, Is This My Son?

Warning!!! This Father’s Day, I’m going to gush a little about my sons. But, don’t worry, I’m doing this to make a point…

Neither of my sons are home this Father’s Day because each of them is serving in their respective summer ministries. So, I’m definitely missing them this weekend.

But, I want to tell you about an experience that I had before they started their tenures at these ministries this Summer, and it was unexpected.

I’ve spent a ton of time with my sons over the years. Camden has been homeschooled since 3rd grade and Payton since 1st. Plus, I’ve worked from home for over 10 years now.

I had conversations with both of my boys individually before they left for their respective ministries, and they started talking about the people they were serving and the others in the ministries. They talked about their plans and excitement and how they were going to structure their days.

I was so impressed by them. And then my next thought as they were talking was, “Oh my goodness! Did I teach them this?”

The truth is that we never had a dedicated educational time covering how to care for people, how to think of others, or even how to cook for themselves.

So, as I heard them talk, I was proud of them. And then I thought,

“Where did they get all this from??”
“Who was it that taught them this?”

I wondered.

As in, who ELSE taught them this? Who is making up for my omissions?

Like many of you, I’m a little insecure about what I’ve not taught my children. About what they might have missed… Or, what we just did not get to… So, my thoughts actually turned a little downtrodden because I started to think about who it might have been that made up for my failures.

I think it’s only natural for these types of thoughts to run through your head as your children grow up. Or, maybe it is just me…

But, my thoughts shifted again…

I started to think…

“This is actually exactly what I want. I should be taking joy in this.”

Over the last two decades, Leslie and I have worked hard to put our children in environments that would bring people into their life that would emulate and present a Godly worldview. From our choices regarding church to education to Bible reading to audio stories and so on. We coached and framed relationships from the perspective of the Gospel.

Furthermore, we have failed. I have blown it so many times with my kids. There have been times that I have hurt feelings and let them down. I’ve even been guilty of not treating Leslie well in front of them. I have said sorry to them so many times!!

And, while I do believe that it is by grace that your children become committed to God, I can tell you without a shadow of doubt that Leslie and I have “gamed” the system. We have made choices—in some cases, imperfectly—that have tilted the percentages to the favor of raising kids that love the Lord. Not a works-based Gospel or legalism, but a genuine “burning heart” kind of following of Christ.

We love the Lord, and my deepest desire is that comes through in how we instruct and raise our kids.

So, back to these conversations with my sons, you may be  looking at your children and thinking,
“Oh my goodness! Did I teach them this?”

That’s exactly the place you want to be.

Don’t get me wrong! They aren’t perfect. Neither am I. But, I can tell you that I was amazed by my sons several weeks ago.

And, I bet that the percentages are in your favor that you will be amazed by your kids as well…

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