Daily Dose, May 12 — Roots & Wings


I sometimes mention my wife, Lisa, in a sermon. She’s been a good sport about this dynamic in my preaching. She allows me to embellish and exaggerate, which is great fun. I want you to know that she is quite brilliant, having graduated from Brenau College at the top of her class — Summa Cum Laude. She most recently earned a master’s degree in Nursing Education from North Georgia College/University. She currently works in the NICU at Emory Johns Creek while assisting in their Nursing Education program. She also happens to be the best mother on the planet. She might be equaled, but never exceeded, in her devotion, support, direction and love for our two sons, Taylor and Aaron. So, I asked Lisa to write a brief word about being a mom.

From Lisa Martin:

Rejoice in the Lord always; again, I will say, Rejoice. Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. (Philippians 4:4-8)

Memorize and recite these verses on a regular basis, especially verse 6. Use these beautiful words from the Apostle Paul as a reference for all of the joys and challenges of parenting.

I turn to something known as “clinical pearls” when I want the nitty gritty of what I need to know about a patient problem. I humbly offer to you now my pearls for raising up children, so that I avoid going on and on about how much I loved helping Taylor and Aaron navigate their growing up years.

You must be willing to see your children suffer. Growing up can be painful. Connecting consequences to actions is often painful. This difficult aspect of parenting will likely begin much sooner than you’d prefer — perhaps that first defiant “no” from your barely walking/talking angel of a baby.

Let them do for themselves and think for themselves. Learning to bring order to their life develops self-control. Proverbs 25:28, “A person without self-control is defenseless.” They should complete science projects, fill out college applications, wash sheets, manage money…until they are grown and flown!

I’m not taking the credit, because I’m not taking the blame. Give credit and blame where they are due. Children will have their successes and disappointments, just like all of us. We’d love to take credit for their wise choices but defer responsibility for failures to them. Not fair — to anyone. (FYI, this also works really well with spouses.  )

Do not look to your children for affirmation. Those sweet babies should become independent creatures who rightly exert their own will, which may or may not be to your liking. It is much easier to grow up when you’re not having to prop up the egos and dreams of your parents.

Say yes as much as you can and no when you have to. This is similar to doing and thinking for themselves. I think its human nature to resist being told what to do. I personally have a bad case of it. Set safe and polite boundaries, then get out of the way.

This is the best book I ever read, here’s a sample: Clay Trumbill, 1891, Hints on Child Training

“Of course, there must be explicit commanding and explicit prohibiting in the process of child-training; but there must also be a large measure of wise letting alone. When to prohibit and when to command are questions that demand wisdom, thought, and character; and more wisdom, more thought, and more character, are needful in deciding the question when to let the child alone.”

My friends, have a grateful heart in praying for wisdom in loving your children. I promise, the good Lord will honor your request.

Happy Mother’s Day — Dr. Don