Archive for July 27th, 2009

I Learn From Others Who Look Back


I was reading Think Orange, by Reggie Joiner today and in the book the author gives a list of things he feels is important for his kids.  Here’s what he writes:

I have read hundreds of books, attended dozens of conferences, and had thousands of hours of conversations with parents smarter than I am, yet I am still amazed at how quickly I can lose perspective.  I recently sat down to summarize for myself what I want to remember, just so I could stay focused.  I am not suggesting this is a comprehensive list; it is just my list:

  • What matters more than anything is that my kids have an authentic relationship with God.
  • All my children need to know I will never stop pursuing them or fighting for a right relationship with them.
  • My personal relationship with God and with my wife affects them more than I realize.
  • Just being together can never substitute for interacting together in a healthy way.
  • A mother and a father are not the only adult influences my children need.

After I wrote these phrases and reread them, I realized a common thread ties them together.  They are connected by the value of relationships.  These are matters of the heart.  At this time in my life, all four of my children are moving through their college years and into adulthood.  As I review the past and look forward to what’s ahead, these statements seem to transcend every season of our experience together.  I wish I had written them down twenty years ago and thought about them more frequently.

The sad truth is that more often than not, we look back on our past with regrets.  We regret not being more available to our children, not making the most of every opportunity to speak with them rather than at them.  We wonder where the time went and how did they grow up so fast.  I don’t want to live with regrets when it comes to my children.  I’ve got enough regrets already, I can’t afford to have them with my kids as well…

In reading Reggie’s list I am moved to create my own list.  One that I will think about often.  One that I will put into practice.  My children are too important to not do this.