July 21st, 2023

Colossians 3:21 CSB – Fathers, do not exasperate your children, so that they won’t become discouraged.

As the father of two boys, this is a verse that I think of often, especially with them being so young. Anneke and I talk a lot about how to parent without breaking our children’s spirits because we want them to be strong adults. We’ve both seen too many instances of children whose parents have had them under their thumbs their entire lives resulting in the children not knowing how to live on their own or think for themselves. We want to be an encouragement to our children and give them an environment where they can thrive and feel safe to talk to us about anything, even if it’s something that may be taboo.

We’re still learning how to find the balance of discipline and freedom so that we don’t become parents who discourage or exasperate their children but also don’t allow our children to walk over us. When we grow older, and our kids are adults, we want them to want to hang out with us, do things with us, and share their lives with us. To that end, we include our children as much as possible in the mundane things in our lives, like emptying the dishwasher or cleaning a bathroom. They’re naturally interested in what we’re doing, and if we include them in those things, later, they’ll include us in their mundane things. Anneke is better at this than I am. I still sometimes get in a rush and will push Jack away when he wants to help with something. Six months ago, I was pushing him away every time and now it’s more like 1 in 4 times. So I’m getting better and it’s teaching me a level of patience that I didn’t know existed.