Friday, August 31, 2012


Growing up, from the time I was a teenager to the time I was in my mid-twenties, I never thought that I would have a child to raise. Once I was faced with the reality of this important responsibility, it caught me unprepared. I was one of those people who was not particularly comfortable around children. Now I had a daughter of my own. From that point on, I suspect that I proceeded along like many folks, just doing the best that I could, trusting on instinct and love to get me through. Now that my daughter is a teenager, most of my time with her seems like a blur. I don't know what I did or how I did it, but I do know that I am very proud of who she is and how she carries herself. I think that so far, given that I had no game plan or set of strategies or any trace of parenting experience, I have been exceedingly lucky and overwhelmingly blessed. But I also fully conscious that my job is not over, and I still have many important things to pass on to give my daughter the best chance to be independent, confident, and successful as she navigates her own future.

When I came across Charles Swindoll's book, Parenting - From Surviving to Thriving, I felt that it would be a worthwhile read for me. At its heart, this book is about raising your children in a Christian home and demonstrating for your children precisely what that means. Swindoll begins from the following key mission statement on parenting:

The job of a parent is to help his or her children come to know themselves, grow to like themselves, and find satisfaction in being themselves.

He then takes us through some key scriptures that provide biblical insight to support this statement, notably in the books of Proverbs and Psalms. He also gives specific examples from the biblical narrative of important lessons to be gleaned from several of the Old Testament patriarchs and from parables told by Jesus in the New Testament. I used this book as part of my devotional time and felt that it was time well spent.