Saturday, November 2, 2013

How to be an Awesome Parent Part 2

For those of you who are interested in my little ramblings on parenting, and have read my introduction, and part one, here are my next three points. This is where it gets a little bit tougher...
4. What do you do on Sundays?

My parents proclaim the importance of being in church every Sunday to everyone. What, you mean every Sunday? Yes, with the exception of some very rare or extreme cases, every Sunday. If we are out of town, we visit another church, but usually we will be in our own church every Sunday.

Growing up in this fashion, at a young age I understood the importance of church. I was not given an option to stay home. And slowly, as I got older, it was engrained into my mind so much that I had a conviction about missing church. Even as young as twelve or thirteen, if us kids had opportunities to go away for the weekend with friends, my parents would let us decide. Because they had taught us so well, and had such confidence in our character, they would leave the decision up to us. We would choose to go to church.

In addition to this at a young age we were all serving in church. This is an essential part to raising kids that will serve God. Whether it is helping to clean, set up chairs, be on the worship team or youth leaders, we all had our part.

Some people might think that this is a little overboard on the discipline of being in church every Sunday. But this was a critical move in my mom and dad’s parenting technique. It taught us at a young age consistency and discipline. In addition to this it encouraged us to put God first in our lives.

Don’t give me the, “well that worked for you, but it doesn’t mean it will work for me” crap stuff. God honors faithfulness. He honors those who honor him. These are very simple, straight forward, don’t have to be a genius to figure out, principles.

5. Do Not Be Over Wicked, Neither Be Over Wise. Discovering the balance

In my family my dad sometimes calls himself ‘captain carnal’ and my mom, ‘holy mother’. Although these names aren’t entirely true, they are a very good example of the balance that exists in my family. We are a good, strong, Christian family. But at the same time we don’t ask God to help us decide what we should eat for dinner.

This balance is a very difficult one for Christian families to achieve. It is absolutely necessary that you do not sway too much towards the ‘wicked’ side. But at the same time, if parents are too strict about religious expectations, it will cause their children to rebel. I have seen so many families who have had the idea of the ‘model Christian family’ but the children weren’t following what their parents believed.

It is different in every home. But what it comes down to is, don’t freak out about the little things that are not really “holy” but not harmful either. As parents you have to trust that you are giving your kids the principles they need for a strong Christian foundation, and then you have to let them make their own decisions. If you did your job right, they will make the right decision. And additionally, if you did your job right, you will not be worried, stressed out parents.

6. “We are Dunns”

Sometimes in the world people are so afraid of being different. They kind of want to blend in in the crowd and sneak through life without drawing attention to themselves.

Not so in our home. Since we were going to be different than the world anyway, my parents told us from the beginning so that we didn’t hear it from some rude kid on the block. They told us that we were Dunns, we were raised to be different than the rest of the world. And on top of that to be proud of it.

We were taught to be examples to others. We were taught that we upheld a higher standard than the rest of the world. We were Dunns, therefore we didn’t date every other person. We were Dunns, therefore we didn’t go to see rated R movies. Little things like this, as we were growing up established our characters individually so that we could form our own opinions and make our own decisions about what we felt was right and wrong. 

Any ideas? Thoughts? Comments? Advice? Leave them below!

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