In light of Father’s Day weekend, I wanted to post this article written by my husband of 38 years, Gregory. He’s a rare bird in our crazy, mixed-up world; a wholehearted, faith-filled, faithful covenant man who has weathered many storms during our decades together, while always holding fast to His core values. He chooses his words carefully and always has wisdom for me if I take the time to listen. Here are some of his insights on parenting our five sons that I know you’ll benefit from…
I was recently asked by a friend, who also happens to be a professor and well-known education, tech and media consultant, how I managed to raise such a great family of outstanding young men. It wasn’t just a polite or shallow question based on a one-time get together. He knows them well and has spent a great deal of time listening and interacting with them…not just viewing their online media persona.
Mmmmmm…how did that happen?
1. I married their mother. Good move.
The second most important decision you will ever make is the decision about who you marry. I say second, because the first is, “where will you acquire your values?” I recommend you marry someone who shares your core values, beliefs and philosophy of life, especially when it comes to raising and educating children. Shared values are what helps hold you together when facing the storms of life. Embrace them together.
2. We tried to instill the right values in them.
Everyone of us draw our values from someone, whether parents, teachers, books or the internet. Who are you getting yours from, and why?
Values and convictions are meant to protect and maintain the most important relationships in your life. If you are a husband and father, that should be your wife and children. Your values will help determine all of your decisions about life. Of course, actually living by these convictions may cause you to lose some less important relationships because you make that choice.
Culture is produced by values, vision and conviction—chaos is produced by a lack of them.
Before you make the choice, examine the outcome of the lives, families and nations of those you intend to emulate. Why would you want to imitate the lifestyle of people you don’t want to end up like?
3. I taught them to think for themselves.
Even when you grow up thinking something is right, there is nothing wrong with questioning and examining what you think you know, or why. Just because you were taught something doesn’t mean its true. Of course, it doesn’t mean it isn’t either. I have found that some values are eternal, some are merely traditional and cultural. Truth will only get brighter and stronger under cross-examination. Ideas are powerful things.
The way to communicate ideas, especially to children is to read them the right books. We read to them, and made them read and write continually. Teach your children to think for themselves without turning them loose into a minefield of poison and noxious ideologies they are not mature enough to navigate. After all, they are your children, not someone else’s…or the States. Don’t feed them to the crocodile of secular humanism or the leviathan of religious buffoonery. They should be able to articulate and defend their own convictions and values, and look you in the eye as they do.
4. I trained them and I trust them.
If you have trained your children well, they will be kind, generous, open to honest dialogue and not intimidated by anyone. Teach them the value of hard work, compassion for others, sacrifice, and most importantly the value of real covenant relationship…with God and each other. Then, there’s only one thing left to do—trust them.
Psalm 45:16 – “Your sons will take the place of your fathers; you will make them princes throughout the land.”
Gregory Mira has spent three decades teaching, training, coaching and mentoring leaders. He has served on several international leadership teams, authored books and articles, and has been a keynote speaker at numerous conferences and leadership training events. He and his wife Denise have five sons and reside in Tacoma, WA. (Read HERE for the nitty gritty on this guy 🙂
Your Two-Minute Takeaway
- Have YOU considered what your core values are? If you can’t write them down this very moment, it may be time for reflection and consideration.
- What is your vision for your family? Where are you ‘taking’ your children – what is your long range goal for them? If you don’t know where you’re heading, you may not be happy with the destination. Gregory has drilled this into our entire family: “A vision without a plan is a fantasy.”
- So much of what Gregory is sharing here revolves around spending time with our children to build authentic relationships, to really know each other. Our culture fights us at every turn to keep us too busy to simply BE with each other. Ponder your schedule, your actual honest time spent with your kids outside of carpools and good-night kisses and what you could tweak in order to buy you more time with your precious children.
- Make it happen. One step at a time.
Thank you for reading, I’m truly honored. If you’d like to read more, subscribe for my updates and grab my TRANSFORMATIVE spring freebie, 7 Steps to Cure an Unhappy Kid and Revolutionize Your Home Life by clicking HERE.