On July the 7th, 1988, my mother said, “Tomorrow you will become a mother; from that day forward, your life is not your own.” Boy, was she right! Then twenty-two months later, another child was born…and then there were two. I quickly learned some valuable info being a parent. No doubt that parenting is the 24-hour job that never ends. The following is a humorous story from my new book, “Bury Me with My Pearls.”
Oyster Shells and Oyster Roasts; a Southern Tradition
The rule is that oyster roasts can only be celebrated during “R” months. Professional oyster roast folks will be accessorized with a glove, knife and appetite. It is not uncommon to see engraved knives and monogrammed gloves. We do love our oyster roasts.
One of the greatest challenges is to open the oyster shell. They can be the most stubborn shell to pry open. The shell is protecting the growing delicacy that is on the inside.
Our homes should be the same. The shell we call our homes should protect our values and be an example of what we pray our children will embrace. Many years ago, I bought a plaque and displayed it in our kitchen, it says, Christ is the Head of this house, the unseen Guest of every meal, the silent Listener to every conversation.
There are countless challenges to parenting. I was so careful what I allowed my children to watch on television. We did not have any kind of satellite television until the children were teenagers. They did not like that one bit. I ordered movies from a company in Utah that had wholesome family entertainment. This company was sponsored by the Mormon Church but I did not care. It was one of the only companies I knew of that produced decent entertainment.
Another difficult challenge as a parent is to help your children navigate through relationships. Our children may develop relationships that are not good for them. I have seen the best homes with the best children get involved with the wrong crowd and the results are disastrous. The answer is to get on your knees and pray for wisdom.
I used to think that couples without children were odd. Now I appreciate that these couples decided not to have children. The last thing this world needs are parents who let the world raise their yougins. Parenting is a twenty-four/seven job. The parents I know who are trying their best to raise Godly children will say that their children are their hobbies. You can dot every “I” and cross every “t” and do your very best but have tremendous challenges. There are no guarantees. Nothing compares with the peace that comes when parents can rest their heads at night knowing they did their very best.
Proverbs 22:6 says, Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.” I have heard this scripture quoted many times and the meaning is obvious. I have also heard this scripture used to direct parent in helping their children follow their natural talents and gifts.
I was an avid James Dobson reader when my children were small. There is such Godly common sense in his books. I highly recommend reading Dr. James Dobson’s books on strong willed children, discipline, etc. I remember Dr. Dobson saying after disciplining a child, they should be sent to their rooms. After several minutes, go to their rooms and talk about the incident.
Dr. Dobson also teaches that as parents, we make mistakes and we should pray to be a better parent in front of our children.
One night, while my family was praying, I did what Dr. Dobson suggested. I asked forgiveness and correction when I did not properly handle a moment of discipline for the children. Holmes, all of a sudden, decides to be a television evangelist and said in a very loud voice, “YES, LORD….THANK YOU, JESUS….CORRECT THIS WOMAN…..