Christmases of my childhood were marked by monumental events, few more exciting than the Sunday school program, which slammed the door on three months of school and opened another on two weeks of holidays.
Living harmoniously as a family is an ongoing, intentional journey. The beginning of that journey is marked by great anticipation and genuine excitement. A bride and groom have high hopes and great dreams as they start out life together. However, as in all journeys, unexpected challenges pop up, including the arrival of children, which requires the couple to cultivate valuable parenting skills—without a handbook! At each age, from preschool through elementary school, each child requires his or her parents to make adjustments along the way to keep the relationships harmonious. Just about the time parents get their arms around all of that, the teenage years arrive! This stretching and complicated time calls for even more adjustments and a greater willingness to change if the parents hope to sustain harmony in the home. Then, after all that adapting, a new set of challenges arrives—the children reach adulthood, with minds of their own. Can there still be mutual respect and meaningful relationships in the family? Can harmony continue between parents and their grown-up kids? Absolutely! The question is, how?
Hopefully we leave the event with a renewed sense of wonder, overwhelmed by the magnificence of what unfolded in Bethlehem long ago. Imagine…
One Monday morning my wife left me. Packed up some earthly belongings, our only daughter, and a Visa card before heading west for a week, leaving Jeffrey, Stephen, and me to fend for ourselves.
While parents continue to love their children no matter what, they cannot escape those occasions when wills clash, rebellion reaches an impasse, and things get downright impossible. The result? Harsh words and ugly reactions as parents stand their ground and sons and daughters react in stubborn defiance, refusing to back down. This is one of those times when the fun stops for parents.
It sounds like a cliché, but the best is yet to come. The far side of 50 is a good place to be. Despite the losses, aging is not about losing.
Who hasn't felt him or herself standing on tiptoe, straining to see what lies ahead? Every generation has had its share of individuals who believed they had the supernatural gift of foretelling the future.
God provides redemption from our sin and a fallen world through the death of Jesus Christ. Embracing Christ as Saviour and Lord is the foundation for successful parenting.
All the change marriage brought caught me off guard. Everything I had worked so hard to establish in my own life was now open to debate. All the traditions passed down through my family were about to be fused with another.
I'm tired. The days away were well-spent but exhausting. I am glad I made the trip, but I'm even happier to be coming home. There's nothing like a few days away to remind me how much I love being home.