These topics of laying down strong foundations and creating a legacy for our children have been coming up a lot lately. What we teach them, morals, values, religion, relationships, eating habits, etc matters. It sets them up for either failure or success. Are we building a foundation for them that's solid or one that will crack at the slightest mishap in their future. My question is: What are we teaching our kids?
I'm speaking from experience. I didn't have an ideal upbringing so maybe I'm just sensitive but I think this is very important. When I was about 3 months old my parents became so engrossed living their separate lives from me and each other that I lived with my grandparents. I thank God for that though, because without their love and guidance I shudder to think where I might have ended up. My parents never taught me morals, healthy habits, and they rarely communicated with me or each other. When I reached a certain age, it was more like I was raising myself. My grandmother was still there though, providing emotional support. She taught me to be kind, help others, and she showed me just how powerful unconditional love really is. She always says “God never gives you more then you can handle.” I still hold on to that truth. But like any young adult I had to find my own way in the world. My teenage years read like a Charles Dickens novel “It was the best of times it was the worst of times.” It's been a long journey. I had to learn from my mistakes, pick myself up from my failures. I had unhealthy relationships with people and food. I was never obese but I wasn't healthy. I would either eat like a pig or starve myself to be thin. I had to learn the importance of exercise, eating right, and what good self esteem is. When I married my husband and became a mother, I really felt the lack of a solid foundation. I had no idea what a healthy marriage looked like or how a real mother acts. My husband also had to to learn these lessons too. It was hard, and honestly without the example of my grandmother and the wonderful Church we are apart of I don't know if we would have survived.
I vowed that my children would not be brought up like my husband and I. They would know their roles in life, understand that there was a purpose for them being here. My daughter would know how to be a real woman, one who values herself, takes care of her body, and knows how to love others. My son would be a real man, showing emotions, and be strong but not overbearing. We are going to exercise and eat healthy. There are people in the world who are not as fortunate, and we will do what we can to help them. The children are going to learn right along side of me about healthy habits, strong moral character, and not to be easily swayed by other people. Recently, I was told that we would see the fruit of our decisions in the future. Our children and grandchildren will be blessed because of our steadfastness and pursuit of a better life. I believe this is true, I just pray for the strength to continue to standout from my past and not to be sucked back into it.
I'm not telling you how to raise your children. What's important to you may not necessarily be the same as what is for me. But please know that whatever you are or are not teaching them will affect them in the future, for better or worse.
Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it. -Proverbs 22:6