Beginning a family at age 20 wasn’t exactly my plan, but I can confidently say it was God’s plan!
When my husband and I found out we were going to be parents, we only had one year of marriage under our belts. It wasn’t a ton of notice, but it was the plan for us. The only plan I really had was, WHEN I had children, I wanted them to be close in age and friends for life!
My daughter came into our loving home and suddenly, I was a mother. No longer just in charge of myself, I was the one someone else was utterly dependent on for sustenance. Ready or not, I stepped up to the plate and life began in a new way. Later we would add three more daughters to the mix.
Intentionally, I trained the girls to be loving and kind toward one another. I reminded them that one day they would need each other and their parents would not be here. Each day had its challenges of daily squabbles. Honestly, there were days I felt like ALL I said was, “No and keep your hands to yourself!”
My daughters are grown now. I survived those exhausting years of refereeing arguments and a small vocabulary, but I haven’t forgotten the exhaustion through those seasons. It can bring the worst out in you. I was never a “yeller” until I had to yell for them to hear me.
So what does it take to raise kids who love God, love you, and want to be around you and their siblings for life?
The bible speaks of reaping a harvest of righteousness and peace. The one thing I know about harvesting is that it takes time! You never reap in the same season in which you sow. A farmer doesn’t sow seeds and come back two days later expecting a harvest.
For sure, the tough part about being a good parent is sowing seeds of thoughtfulness and doing what is right. At times it seems like nothing is happening, but later you will enjoy the harvest that comes.
I didn’t really care if my kids had the highest SAT scores or that they were super star athletes. But I did care that they obeyed God and loved each other enough to be intentionally involved in one another’s lives, not drifting away from each other as they got older.