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He won’t still sleep with a pacifier by the time he’s in high school. He won’t still cry if he has to go to class without me. He’ll pronounce his “L’s” by then. He’ll be able to eat without dropping half his meal on his clothes. It’ll be grand.

But by then he probably won’t want to give me kisses all the time. He won’t hold my hand crossing the street. He won’t ask me to read to him before bed or carry him up the stairs. And he won’t think I’m the center of the universe anymore. Will it be grand?

I think one of the hardest parts about raising kids is remembering the big picture. On the one hand, we need to encourage ourselves that “this too shall pass.” The childish behaviors will (for the most part) disappear as they grow up.

On the other hand, if we remember the big picture we realize that conversations with our children, our choices about discipline, and the examples we set will make life long impressions on them. The way we handle frustration, fear, and disappointment. The way we communicate our feelings to those we love. How we talk about friends when they aren’t around. How we spend our free time. What priority we place on work, on family, and on God. And whether we allow our religious beliefs to actually infiltrate the way we live each moment.

Boys to Godly Men

I really feel like days can go by when I am only focusing moment to moment on the details. When I don’t lift my eyes long enough to gaze ahead to the future or even within my heart. And though I may make it to the end of the day with the house clean and the boys peacefully asleep in their beds, I may not have accomplished much in the way of growing my boys into Godly men.

Matching socks are nothing compared to teaching them to match their behaviors to those of Christ. A well-balanced meal is important, but small when you could be teaching them about the bread of life. Fun at the pool is great, but insignificant if they don’t learn how Jesus can wash away their sins. And watching a family sitcom can be enjoyable, but if their parents have fought all day that’s what they’ll hold in their little hearts.

We have an awesome responsibility as parents, we know that. I guess I’d like to start taking a few moments each morning, at noontime, and in the evening to remind myself that this seemingly crazy routine of raising kids is part of a much bigger picture. And that if I invite Him, God will do it with me.

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By Joelle Yamada. Copyright © 2011 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

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