Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.Deuteronomy 6:5-9
Dear Dad & Mom,
I’m glad you know I am a fearfully and wonderfully made child by our Creator. I’m a blessed child to be so loved by Him and my parents. I want to share with you what I need from our family because this parenting job is hard… and the world is full of brokenness.
Please teach me about God every day. Help me understand His love for me and how His love makes a difference in everything we do. Help me to guard my heart and mind while I am too young to do it myself. Take me to church and show me worship is a priority to you. I will love my Sunday School teachers and friends, but I won’t be able to get there on my own. If you want my church to be important in my life when I am grown, I need you to model that while I am at home. If loving God is big and you want me to go to heaven someday, I need you to show me and tell me what I need to know.
When I get older, I will want to fill my days with every sport and club and musical lesson available. I might want to have dance lessons or gymnastics, play volleyball, and join the latest club for kids. I will want to play traveling ball. Sports will consume our weekends. I won’t know how to manage my time and I will need you to keep my schedule from dominating the family priorities and time.
You tell me I am the most beautiful and smartest baby ever, but please let me see the world doesn’t revolve around me. Help me grow to love others and notice there are people, even in my community, in need. Create in me a kind and giving attitude by teaching me to be generous. Help me to see the value in others. Model what it means to serve others and put their needs before mine.
When I pitch a fit because you have told me no, please don’t give in and teach me that crying will get me my way. When I get in trouble at school—and I will—please, don’t try to soften the discipline I will receive. Teach me to show respect for my teachers and to obey the rules of the classroom. My tears will make you feel bad temporarily, but the lessons learned from them will prevent future pain for us both.
I am a unique person, and I might not like the same things you did as a kid. Don’t try to relive your childhood through me. Allow me to make some of my own choices and mistakes. Encourage me to strive to do my best. But make sure you tell me it is okay when my best is not first place or a perfect score.
Keep the end in mind as you raise me, remembering that one day I will have a family of my own. When you say, “I am your world” it can add unrealistic pressure to my life choices. I am not your world, but a part of your world. I will grow up and move away one day and I should not have to carry the burden of what you will do when I am no longer living at home.
Your marriage should be more important than I am. I need to grow up watching you love each other. I will learn what love is by watching you work out disagreements, make difficult decisions, and laugh together. I will feel safe when I know you are committed to each other.
I look up to you and believe everything you tell me and “say” through your actions. I am young and my pudgy arms reach for you. But when I no longer climb into your lap, please remember my heart will always reach for your love and approval.
I know it’s a lot of pressure, but you are my guide in this world. I’m thankful God put us together. I know He will help you raise me because you look to Him for the wisdom you daily need.
Lots of love,
An open letter to Dad and Mom … my heart will always reach for your love and approval. by Shelley Pierce #parenthood #parentsTweet