On Being Parents

Imagine for a moment that your daughter was sitting on the railroad tracks and you heard the train whistle blowing. Would you warn her to get off the tracks? Or would you hesitate, worried that she might think you were being overprotective? If she ignored your warning, would you quickly move her to a safe place? Of course you would! Your love for your daughter would override all other considerations. You would value her life more than her temporary goodwill.
Challenges and temptations are coming at our teenagers with the speed and power of a freight train. As we are reminded in the family proclamation, parents are responsible for the protection of their children. That means spiritually as well as physically. --Larry R. Lawrence

My daughters and I were able to attend a fireside recently. The speaker was Ardeth Kapp. She shared the following experience: 

”I remember one evening years ago, while attending a Sunday school party, I looked at the clock, and it was past the time I was told to be home. Just then a knock came on the door. I was horrified—my dad had come after me. I felt humiliated in front of my friends. I thought I wanted to die. I was not pleasant with my dad; disobedience never makes one pleasant.
“A few years later, my friends and I were driving home from a dance across an Indian reservation, ten miles from any shelter. It was 40 degrees below zero, and the wind chill continued to lower the temperature. A few miles farther into the blizzard, we discovered that there was no heat in the car.
Then the car froze up and would not run. We came to a slow stop. Wewatched the snow swirling in front of us only until the windows quickly froze over. We were quiet and sober as we contemplated our fate—our lives were in danger. The silence was broken as a friend in the backseat asked, ‘How long do you think it will be before your dad will get here?’
“Why do you think they thought my dad would come? One time I had thought I wanted to die because he had come after me. This time we lived because my dad came through the blizzard to save my life and the lives of my friends. This time I was pleasant with my dad—pleasant and very grateful”

It's a blessing to be friends to our children. But even more important, is the ability to know when our children need a parent more than they need a friend.


Mindy said...

I love the story from Ardeth Kapp! I still tease my dad about a time that he came looking for me before I was even supposed to be home. I was home on time, and 20 minutes later, my dad shows up... mad, because he couldn't find me. I was mad at him for not trusting me, and for looking for me before I even broke any rules. The thing that sticks with me still, 20 years later, is how MUCH my dad cared about me. Yes, maybe he was overprotective, but his caring father heart was worried about his daughter, and he did all that he knew how to do. I will never forget that my dad loved me more than just "punishing after I had done something wrong"... he loved me enough to do what he could to protect me.

missy said...

I love that story! It made me laugh and cry at the same time. It reminds me of the boy who heard a rumor at school that if you wanted to date my sister, you had to have an interview with my dad. So he called and asked when he could come for his interview. My dad was more than happy to humor him and my sister and I were mortified! But we knew my dad cared and we knew our dates knew it as well. :) (After that, the interviews were very informal when our dates came to pick us up. They didn't even know they were being interviewed, but would usually say something like, "Your dad is cool," as we walked to the car.)

Anonymous said...

I love being a parent to my children, hopefully a kind and nurturing parent who only wanted to do the best I could to bring them up as GOOD people with good values. Now, I am happy to be in the time of my life that I am blessed to enjoy them not only as my children, but as my very best friends. LMH

Leslie said...

wonderful thoughts. amen to them all.
now... will it look strange if i sit through school all day with aaron? ;)

Tawnie said...

I don't get on the computer every day. I usually just look from my phone and I can't comment or enter things from my phone. Because my phone is lame.

We had family home evening last night and we read this together and talked about it. It was great. We talked about each aunt and uncle and the kids they have to raise and how each of us are trying to do our best to teach our kids and "keep them safe".
It's tough but the best job ever.
Thanks for sharing this.