Posts Tagged ‘children’

empty nest

October 12, 2009

Both of my sons are now in Minnesota. 

Andrew left Saturday with his truck packed to capacity with the things that he was taking with him as he starts his new life in Minnesota.  He is going to be living in a log cabin, on a lake north of the twin cities.  He is very excited about starting the next stage of his life.

My wife and I are not quite so excited.

Don’t get me wrong,  we are very happy for him and believe that he is ready and capable, and that this is how it is supposed to be.

Except that, maybe a little closer to home would have been nice.

Of course we should be glad, he had wanted to join the military, and then talked about the border patrol, so I guess we should be happy that he is only one state away.

At any rate, we are now empty nesters.  This really started to hit me about a week before Andrew left.  The impact was truly felt on Saturday as he drove away.  Our big old house, where our children grew up is going to be very quiet, and seems pretty empty.

Sigh….

The transition might not be smooth, but I believe that each stage of life brings its own challenges and rewards.  I believe that God is good to his people and that our lives can be filled with blessings that come from God.

Our little blessings have grown up and moved on. 

I am certain that God’s blessings will continue in our life.

They will just be different.

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Advice to Fathers

June 18, 2009

I enjoy seeing young families out doing stuff together.  It brings back fond memories of my own years raising my boys.  My boys are young adults now, which doesn’t mean that I am completely finished as a father, but the job description definitely changes.

For you fathers whose children are still at home, I would like to give a little unsolicited advice.

PLAY

Take the time to play with your children.  Do age appropriate activities.  Have fun.  Do things with them that they enjoy.  Share your own interests with them.  (However, pay attention.  Play time is about them, not about you. )  You don’t have to spend a lot of money, but you do need to spend some time doing fun things with them.

SAY

Take the time to talk with your children about whatever they are willing to talk about.  This is true at all ages, but especially important during the teen years.  During the teen years, your child may be unwilling to talk most of the time.  On those occasions when they want to talk, you had better take the time to listen.  ( Even if it is late at night!) Shut off the TV.  Turn away from the computer.  When a teen wants to talk, it is important to listen.  These talks are not about you giving them a lecture,it is about you being willing to listen to what they have to say.  Then you can have your say.

PRAY

Included in this category are all of the spiritual aspects.  You should pray with your children regularly.  When they are young, you should read them Bible stories.  As they grow older, you should model an appropriate devotional life and encourage them to follow your example of prayer, Bible study, and church attendance.

STAY

Your love for your children should be unconditional.  That means that whatever they do, whatever success they achieve or whatever collosal mistakes they make, they should know that you love them.  You should tell them that regularly, and demonstrate it by your actions.  Be a presence in their lives.

Stay, also applies to your marriage.  Make it work.  Work on making it.  Divorce is devastating on children at any age.  Never give up.  Marriage is supposed to last for a lifetime, but it takes time and effort.  It is worth it. 

This is not a comprehensive list, but rather a list of essentials.  Fathers, your family needs you.  They need you to love them, care for them and be involved with them.  It is not just about providing the material needs.

They need you.

Religion, Medicine and Children

May 26, 2009

Currently in the news is the case of the Minnesota teenager, Daniel Hauser.  Daniel has Hodgkin’s lymphoma.  He received one treatment of chemotherapy before deciding to try treatment by alternative means, claiming religious belief inspired the change of treatment.  The court has become involved in the case. 

Historically, our country has been divided over how far we are willing to allow religion to dictate treatment of children with curable conditions.  Jehovah Witnesses have often made the news with their refusal of receiving blood transfusions.  Recently, in the courts there have been cases where parents felt that prayer and faith were all that were needed for their children to be healed. 

At the core of this problem is that we are struggling over freedoms, rights and responsibility.  How far do we allow religious freedom to dictate action?  Does a child have a right to the statistically most successful treatment?  Do parents have final responsibility for the welfare of a child, or does the State?   To what extent are we willing to allow religious freedom to dictate the medical treatment of children?  Are we willing to undermine personal freedom, parental authority, and entire religious communities ways of life?  Does society have the right to demand compliance?  These are questions that are not easily answered.  We should think carefully before we take action as the decisions may have far reaching implications.