Saturday was a monumental day in my life. We celebrated the 13th birthday of our first-born child. That officially makes me the parent of a teenager. She reminded me this morning that she's only 2 years away from driving!!!
I'm reminded of an exchange I had shortly after she was born with the One who created her and gave her to me. I was overwhelmed in the joy I had as a new father and grossly consumed by how much I loved this precious little baby. So much so, that I started to get a little ticked off that something that brought me so much happiness would soon gravitate out of my arms into the arms of another man and would be "gone forever."
I've learned first hand what the Bible means when it tells us that children are a gift from God. I've worked hard to insure that I handle this gift with care and love, yet fulfill my responsibility to teach her "the way she should go." We have laughed, cried and shared many defining moments in her life as her mother and I have worked to keep her planted in the truths of God's Word.
The tendency is for parents to put a lot of effort in trying to produce particular habits in their children. We want them to say, "Yes Sir", "Please" and "Thank you." We want them to make good grades and excel in whatever extra-curricular activity they choose. We get so caught up in the fruit of their lives that we overlook any efforts we might give to helping them grow on their own. They will eventually leave. So why not work at helping them learn how to grow so that they can continue to create even more fruit after they leave?
In other words, worry less about the fruit of your kids lives and more about what kind of tree they will become.