I’m writing this shortly after watching a slide show my wife made for my oldest son’s graduation party. The first time I watched it I’m sure I cried a bucket full of tears. The second time just a gallon of tear drops fell. But, by the fifth time I cried zero tears as there was nothing left within me to fall. My present feelings have compelled me to speak to every young parent that will listen. Here are a few things you must know before it’s too late.
First of all, before you know it your child will be graduating high school. For an entire week I’ve just kept saying “It was just yesterday that boy was born.” I’m sure many parents could tell you that it really does feel like yesterday. I remember finding out that we were expecting our first born. I remember how proud I was when he was born. In fact, I spent hours just staring through that nursery window at the hospital. Trust me, it’s going to feel like your child grows up overnight. So, you better make the most of your time together.
Secondly, you will miss these days. God has blessed me with four healthy boys. But, I remember well when the three oldest were just ages 5, 3, & 1. I thought to myself back then, “If we can just get past this stage and these kids get older.” Man, was I totally wrong with my thinking. I would give anything for those days to return. Those were the best days of our lives. Listen, things may not feel easy at times in your life. But, trust me you’re going to miss those moments of easy hugs, kisses, cuddles, games, vacations, and laughter.
Finally, you must begin with the end in mind. By the grace of God my Matthew has grown into a wonderful young man. And, I give God and my wife much credit for her consistency over the years. But, I’m willing to admit that my firstborn taught me just as much as I taught him. I learned how important it is that I seize the moments in front of me. I now have weekly daddy days with my youngest son something I wish I had started years ago with him. I now know that once they are raised you have to release them. Remember that you are preparing your child to live without you, not just live with you. So, you have to do everything you possibly can to make sure they are prepared for whatever lies ahead in their life. They are worth your time and the extra effort you can give them.
So, young parents simply know this for sure. This time will go by in a blink. Treasure every moment you have with those children. Seize every moment you can to love them like Jesus, point them to Jesus, and encourage them to live for Jesus. Then, what God has invested through you will touch many more lives through them.
(Psalm 127:3) “Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him.
(Proverbs 22:6) “Train up a child [a]in the way he should go,Even when he is old he will not depart from it.