My daughter just turned seventeen. She's been a great kid, straight A's, youth group, the whole
nine yards. Lately we've been having a little trouble with the mouth and attitide. I grew up in a very strict
home. Every offense was punished and sometimes harshly. Now that I'm a dad, I try and remember the
good things my folks did and chuck the bad. It's hard to remember that when you're tired, stressed
out, and speaking to your kids about the same issue, over and over. My wife continually reminds me to
pick my battles wisely but that's a hard thing to do when you're parenting 'in the moment'. Sometimes I
have to step back and ask myself if I'm looking to help my kids grow or just win the current argument. It's
ultimately not about winning, but earning respect. One thing I try and remember is that my parents never
apologized when they were overbearing or just plain wrong. So when I blow it with my kids, I go back later
and say, "I'm sorry I came down on you so hard." It really goes a long way. While raising children, its really
been helpful to be mindful of the verse,"Do you not know it is the kindness of God that leads you to
repentance?" That has humbled me more times than I care to remember.
One day I'll stand before God and give an account of my time on earth. Parenting is a ministry I'm
sure He holds very near and dear. I don't want to blame my parents for being too harsh or society for
being too easy. It's a daily battle and can only be done right with much prayer, humility and reverence. I
don't always get it right but at least I'm continually focusing on winning the war, even while I'm losing some
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