Parenthood is more than leading children through life; it is leading children to life…
Parenthood: Raising our Children by Raising our Faith will be our message series this August – messages are posted every Monday. Follow my page so you can be notified when new messages are posted!
To learn more about the Parenthood series, read the following note I sent to the members of my church this week! It includes a fun little story that might have you howling like a dog.
Blessings to you all!
The Howling Dad
“Fathers, do not provoke your children, or they may loose heart.” – Colossians 4:23
The twins will be five months old tomorrow. It is hard for me to believe we have already been blessed with their presence in my family’s life for five months.
The twins have made car rides interesting. Ginny and I have heard stories of parents driving the children around town at all hours of the night to calm their crying children. The twins do not respond well to such tactics. About a month ago, the twins decided they did not like being strapped into car seats. They much prefer the freedom of an exersaucer or the arms of their mother…
Ginny and I went to Summerville a couple weeks ago. JE had been with his grandparents for “J-Jo Camp” and we were going to pick him up. We loaded up the twins and started on the 50 mile drive. Solomon (our dog) went with us, too.
Patterson feel asleep. Gaines cried.
Gaines began crying in the driveway. He continued to cry as we reached Highway 63. Ginny was driving, so she instructed me on the proper soothing technique. I tried everything she suggested – the pacifier, the white noise machine, saying “shhhh…” in his ear, putting my face close to his face, etc. Nothing was working. We concluded Gaines would tire himself eventually and fall asleep…
He did not. He kept crying.
We reached Sniders, and he was still crying.
We reached Walterboro, and he was still crying.
We reached Cottageville, and he was still crying.
Ginny and I had run through an array of emotions. We progressed from apathetic to frustrated; from frustrated to concerned; from concerned to unnerved; and, from unnerved to hysteric!
Gaines was still crying when Patterson woke up and began to cry, as well. We were about 5 minutes from my parents house. Ginny and I, overwhelmed and exhausted, looked at one another and started laughing – You parents know what I mean! You reach a point where all you can do is laugh.
Both boys were crying. Ginny and I were laughing so not to cry. Solomon was lying in the rear of the car, annoyed. I yelled out to Solomon, “Hey, Sol, it’s okay. You might as well join in with the boys,” and I started howling like a dog, thinking I was being funny.
Do you know what happened?
Gaines and Patterson stopped crying! Instantly.
Ginny and I could not contain ourselves. After everything else we had tried, after the comedy of emotion, my acting a fool was all the twins needed to calm down.
In the midst of our laughter and joking, I stopped howling like a dog. As I stopped, the boys started crying again. With all the seriousness in the world, Ginny exclaimed, “Howl, Ross! Howl!”
A few minutes later, we pulled into my parents’ driveway. I was still howling and Gaines….well, he was fast asleep.
My friends, you do what you have to do – even when it requires howling like a dog.
Parenthood is “the state of being a parent and the particular responsibilities involved in being a parent,” but parenthood is so much more than just what you are and what you have to do. Parenthood is a privilege; it is a blessing. It will not be easy at times (and it may require you to act the fool), but the difficulty of parenting and the responsibility of parenting cannot and should not be the defining characteristics. Parenthood is the gift God gives to you when God entrusts you with the care of a child.
Over the next four weeks, we are going to participate in the sermon series, Parenthood: Raising our Children by Raising our Faith. The series will have all of us look past the responsibilities and challenges of parenting to discover the influence our faith has upon our children. We will consider how parenting as a Christian is more than raising our children into responsible adults. Parenting as a Christian is the privilege and blessing of raising the children entrusted to us into mature disciples of Jesus Christ. Not to get ahead of myself, but parenthood is more than leading children through life, it is leading children to life…
I am very excited about this sermon series. It covers a topic I have been wanting to address for a while. Certainly, this conversation will be relevant to our younger members, who are currently raising children – so please encourage our young people to attend.
This conversation is not limited to young parents, though. Even if your children are out of the house, you are still a parent. Your faith is still an influence upon your children. So, please be encouraged to attend.
And, finally, if you do not have children, this message is especially for you. While you may not be a biological parent to the children in our congregation, you are a spiritual parent to all of them. Your faith has an influence upon the spiritual health of our young people. Please attend and discover the responsibility God has entrusted to you, as well.
You may be thinking a sermon series on parenting in August is not great timing – well, that’s exactly why we are participating in this series in August. I know you have final vacations, back to school business, and the start of football. But, as our series will teach us, parenting requires assuming responsibility and establishing priorities that glorify God. So, I want to give you a chance to put those very things into action. Assume the responsibility God has entrusted to you as a parent and set priorities (especially during the busiest of times) that will glorify God.
Looking forward to August and our new series, Parenthood: Raising our Children by Raising our Faith!