Saturday, March 1, 2014

Bringing Up The Rear

Today's post was written by Barb's youngest sister, Janis, who has a little bit 
of a different take on her upbringing than what Barb wrote about ~

For the past several weeks, youʼve been reading about how Gordon and Marian Brown raised six children to love and honor the Lord. My sister, Barb, who is the fourth in line and nine years older than me, has been sharing their strategy. Iʼm the youngest of the six and so it is only fitting that I bring up the rear in this series and tell you about their child raising from a different perspective. 

My parents were wonderful Godly people, who shared with us a heritage that my husband and I have striven to pass down to our kids, now ages 20,23, and 26. I loved them dearly and think that they were wonderful parents, however, in all honestly I must admit that I do not even remember a lot of the stories that Barbara Alexander told because I wasnʼt around when they happened. 

 By the time I came along, I think they were tired of raising kids and perhaps didnʼt implement many of those parenting strategies with me! Maybe thatʼs why my {and my husbandʼs} parenting doesnʼt look exactly like theirs. 

Iʼm not as mild-mannered and soft-spoken as my mother was. 
We werenʼt as strict with our kids as my parents were. 
We focused on quality and quantity time, not just quality as my dad espoused. 
We encourage very open communication with our kids, much more than my parents did. And my husband does definitely NOT whistle for me! 

I could probably list more, but these differences really donʼt matter because we have the same core values as my parents. The difference comes in how we apply our parenting skills. My parents raised us with core values that permeated all they did. Those core values are like the skeleton of a human body. They were the support, the basis, the foundation for how they parented. Itʼs the cover over those bones that is unique to every individual. 

Our core values {the same core values that I was raised on} are these ~ 
• God's Word is foundational to all of life and godliness
• Honor God
• Communication 
• Honesty
 • Trust 
• Unconditional Love 

Weʼve taken those same core values that resulted in raising six kids to love and honor God and weʼve adapted them to our personalities and our lifestyle. We donʼt do everything exactly like my mom and dad did. Itʼs no doubt that I see things pop up now and then that make me think, “I sound like my mom or dad!” 

But overall, our parenting has a different sort of flavor than my parentʼs generation of parents. The result? We have three amazing young adults who are deeply in love with Jesus and who want to serve Him with their whole heart. 

So the question for you as parents is, what is the skeleton of core values in your home? If you are basing your parenting strategy on God and His Word, then how you flesh out that parenting can be as unique as you are. Thereʼs a lot of parenting guru noise out there. 

Everyone has a strategy, a plan that will raise good kids. And they may offer some very good suggestions, but know this: the core values that you stand upon as a family will be the ultimate determination of what kind of adults your children will become. 

My parents have been in heaven for 15 and 23 years, and I often wonder what they would think of our parenting. However, I have a feeling that my Dad and Mom would be proud of the kids weʼve raised. And my husband and I can gratefully echo the words of my Dadʼs favorite verse: “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.” 3 John 4. 

Janis Meredith, youngest of six in the Brown family, is a sports mom 
and coach’s wife. She writes a sports parenting blog called JBM Thinks
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