Tuesday, November 17, 2009

On Being a Good Parent

My friend Irene became a grandma twice in the last nine months when both of her daughters had babies. The other day she got a call from her older daughter who clearly had something on her mind. After some casual conversation she said, "Mom, what's one of the most important things about parenting?"

Irene took a gulp and said, "What a good question!" And as she thought about it she came up with what seems to me to be a very good answer. "I think I'd say it is the thing that has brought me the most joy and the most sorrow. It is being reliable.

"When I've listened to you girls, really listened, been available and stood by you, I have experienced great joy. There have been times when the Holy Spirit led me as a parent, and I listened and followed His prompting. That's brought me great joy too. But there have been times when I didn't listen to His promptings or act on them. Any regrets I have are those times that I didn't listen or respond to the Holy Spirit, and because of that I was less of a parent than I wish I had been. In those moments I let you down, and that brings me sorrow."

Yeah, being reliable and listening to the Holy Spirit. That's going to make a huge difference in the lives of our kids.

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