The gift of family is so precious. There we meet people who love us, test us, encourage us, stretch us to what we feel is the breaking point, rain on our parades, laugh with us (and at us), and cry with us. Dave Ramsey once asked an audience, “How many of you came from dysfunctional families?” His answer: “We all did—they had people in them.”
When I look back on raising our family, I see the mistakes I made—too strict, too demanding, too controlling, too quick to spank. And I see, through God’s divine grace and their mother, they survived in spite of me.
They love each other, they support each other, they live lives of integrity.
And, while they’ll always be our children, we’ve reached the stage where we are friends as well. It’s that mutual respect that comes when parents realize at some subconscious level that our offspring made it to adulthood, they have minds and hearts of their own and they are to be treasured because of that.
Part of it too, to paraphrase Mark Twain, is the children realize how smart their parents have become between the child’s eighteenth and twenty-first birthdays.
Of course, I have to give them a lot of credit for making me smarter because I learn so much from them.
I am proud of them.
And I thank God for them.