Tuesday, February 2, 2016

The One Key To Our Family

A Sabo team meeting to see who's responsible for meals tonight.
Our family is what you would call a loosely run organization. By that I mean there's not an overabundance of rules, mandates, directives, laws and the like. If you're a Sabo kid, you'll learn about Jesus and be encouraged to own your faith in Him, you'll share a bedroom -- quite possibly a bed at some point -- share your toys, be kind and loving, grow into responsibilities, contribute to the welfare of the family and put up with your dad's sense of humor. Oh, and deal with your dad posting stuff on social media about you.

We don't have meal times set in stone, there's a rolling bedtime depending on age, there's no morning reveille and there's a lot of flexibility in how things operate. All this to say that we work on instilling a sense of personal responsibility, operating on the belief that strictly controlling our children's environment with rules, regulations, schedules and the like -- including medicating them for all variety of "concentration" and behavioral issues" -- leads to major problems as the kids get older.

I bring this up because this helicopter parenting is out of control. Sometimes I think there are basically two kinds of parents. The ones who aren't really involved in their kids' lives, or nominally involved. They don't have a relationship with their kids and think the "school system" should basically raise their kids, or basically anyone else other than them, and blame anyone and everyone other than themselves when their kids grow up to be ... just like them basically.

Then there's the other extreme, the parents who rigidly schedule every minute of their child's life, try and control every possible outcome and when they send their kid off to college pester their professors about their grades, monitor their college kid's every movements by tracking them on their smart phone and calling them daily, if not hourly, to see where they've been who they've been with and if they've been taking their medication. I kid you not. I have a child who has seen this firsthand.

Here's what I'm leading to. We're not perfect. We're not a perfect family, I'm a far from perfect dad, I've messed up, our kids have messed up and will mess up. But here's the one thing I think we've been blessed by. As our kids grow up and mature they come to own their faith in Jesus Christ. There's struggles and missteps along the way, but I truly believe that an authentic faith in Christ is the one thing that makes a family complete.

Knowing Jesus and following Him means you understand grace, mercy, humility, compassion, love and especially sacrificial love. I don't know how families operate without these things. Ours certainly wouldn't.

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