Foundations

Foundations

My daughter, Jayme, recently sent me a picture of my granddaughter, Melody, being pushed around in an empty box. Melody, who just turnedJay Stoneking headshot.jpg months old, was a little skeptical but clearly enjoying herself. It was an homage to a picture that's been treasured in our family for years--a picture of Jayme herself, wide-eyed and grinning with excitement as she was being pushed by me in an empty box of her own. Seeing Melody sharing this simple joy brought a smile to my face and a flood of good memories. But it also reminded me of a reality that's difficult for any parent to come to terms with: my "little girl" was now raising her own family. It all happened so quickly. It seems like yesterday that Jayme was graduating high school, then going off to college. Naturally, when I saw Jayme standing in front of the church wearing a wedding dress I knew that she was beginning a new chapter in her life. But seeing Jayme and Melody making memories together was somehow different. Like it or not, I realized that our days as a family unit were over. Now it was Jayme's turn. Jayme¬†was no longer the child. Now she was the parent--with all of the responsibilities of parenthood falling squarely on her shoulders. JBS 9-19-13 2.jpg All of this forced me to ask myself a question: Was she ready? Had I done everything I was supposed to do so that my daughter could be a mom to this precious little one? As any parent knows, most of our parenting skills are acquired by on-the-job training. But it's still essential to give your children a good, solid foundation to work from so they can become the parents of the future. That's what I tried to do with Jayme. I pray that I was successful. Here are three foundational things that I tried to teach and model for all of my children: Love God. I firmly believe that God is the centerpiece of any successful family. God gives us purpose, stability, and hope, and he's an anchor in the difficult times of life.¬† Love others. We should reflect God's love in the way we treat others. We should love our children unconditionally, and our children should see a loving, caring spirit in us both publicly and privately. JBS 9-19-13.jpg Do right. We should also reflect God's character. That means doing the right thing--even when it's hard, inconvenient, or out of step with what the rest of the world may be doing. Our children shouldn't just hear us saying what's right and wrong; they should see us living it out in our daily lives. I wish Jayme and my son-in-law, Tim, all of the success in the world as they begin their own parenting adventure. I guess I should get myself ready to go through this angst all over again when--before I know it--my other "little girl," Stacey, gets married and begins having children too...