Do you remember the overhead projector that your 7th or maybe 8th grade math teacher used to work the homework problems for the whole class to see? It could be that she used a prepared transparency that she could place on and off the machine, or if she was legit she would freestyle it on the surface of the overhead itself. In either case, we learned how to make sense of those things (eventually) because she walked us through them week in and week out.
We’re currently discussing the relationship between parents and kids with our students at Journey on Wednesday nights with the hope of improving lines of communication and strengthening the relationship. We invited my dad to come and speak to our students about family change and his experience and perspective of when he and my mother divorced. First, I will just go ahead and tell you how proud of my dad that I am anyway, and certainly for his willingness to share with our kids this week. He showed them a father and husband at the time who was scared of what this situation was going to be like for him but more importantly for his children. How often do we men communicate any kind of fear at all to anyone, much less our children? So often we get in our heads that it’s a good idea to not allow everything about us or what we’re thinking to be shown to our children, and a lot of time that REALLY is a good idea; but…what if, in crucial learning opportunities, we got real with them and show them what’s really going on inside, or at least what was at a time that we dealt with something similar to what they are now? Please understand, I am all about the “need to know” basis and applying that principal when it’s appropriate to do so; however, could it be that that has been our go-to approach for so long that we have now become desensitized to opportunities for meaningful communication with our kids? What would it look like if we as parents stayed sharp and did not allow the busyness of our day to day lives to bully away the opportunities that we have to teach and meaningfully talk to our children? I know the days are long and tough; this comes from a student pastor who has a full time job outside the church, a wife and two young boys. I KNOW you’re busy. But ask yourself…how busy, despite the fact that He is the omnipotent Creator of this universe, is God? And yet He makes the time for us–His children–and regardless, will always offer His ear and attention to our needs. His busyness does not get in the way of the relationship, and neither should ours. Be real with your kids about what’s going on and explain to them why it’s important to the family. You’d be surprised how much the transparency helps.
See you Sunday.