Guest post Tuesday, guest post Tuesday! Today you have the opportunity to hear from a new friend of mine, Mimi Davis. Mimi and I were introduced a number of months back when we hosted a giveaway together, and it’s obvious and evident that she’s got a heart of gold. So listen and learn as she passes on some of her parenting wisdom to the rest of us.
I floundered as a parent when my children started approaching elementary age. I did fine in the basic areas of love, comfort, feeding, clothing, but the older my children became, the less confident I felt of providing proper direction and guidance for them. I felt ill-equipped to navigate them through the preteen and teen years still ahead. The world, I felt, had become much more complicated and harsh than the reality that I had grown up in.
Then one day, I stumbled upon some words in Deuteronomy 6:6-7. I had read them many times before and had studied their significance but on that particular day, the words seemed to be highlighted just for me, like a beacon lighting my way.
“These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.”
It was like something resonated deep within my maternal soul. Right before me was the answer for which I had been searching. Those verses contained a simple wisdom that would act as my guide for parenting. These children were mine, I reasoned, and it was my overwhelming privilege and responsibility to teach them in this short season of time the values that I prayed would last them a lifetime. Every moment mattered and still matters.
I took hold of those words that day and applied that sage advice to all areas of my parental life. What those verses suggested to me was that no moment was insignificant and to raise good humans, I needed to be intentional in my parenting to guide them onto the right paths. I realized that meant I couldn’t slack off because I was never off instruction duty as a parent. For me, I realized too that I needed to understand my faith and the world around me better so that I could be better prepared to help them.
No topic was off limits for discussion and quite often, our discussions were while they helped me with everyday mundane tasks like folding clothes. I never waited for the “right” moment to have a conversation because I believed as these verses state that any and every moment was the right opportunity to talk. We talked about everything from sex to politics to social issues while I also wove in our faith practices and beliefs into the discussion. I was careful to match the discussion with their maturity level. Sometimes inwardly, I cringed talking about uncomfortable topics but outwardly, I always tried to maintain a calm exterior and discuss them like I would their English homework. At times, I succeeded and others, I failed. My hope was that when a real crisis or difficulty came into their lives that my son and daughter would first turn to my husband and me.
These words taught me about intentional, responsible parenting, that every moment was “the moment.” For me, the secret to raising good kids was found in that 4000+ year old principle that had withstood the test of time.
So, love them, parent them, and don’t be a sissy about it.
Wife and mom to 2 grown children, I spend my days reading, writing and definitely not doing arithmetic. I blog at State of Hospitality about life, faith, family, books, DIY or whatever else strikes my fancy, and teach bible study locally and host studies online at Sweeter Than Honey Ministry. Here’s what I love about Mimi: first of all, she does not look like she could have grown children, IN THE LEAST. Pretty please, little baby Jesus, give me genes like Mimi! But really, mostly, I love that she humbly passes on wisdom-filled goodness to the rest of us. What did you learn from our friend today? Show her some love!