Good to Great Parenting

So today as I left LJ’s school after droping him off I was walking back out to my minivan (which is my cultural ticket to the underground world of PTA) there were two things that struck me.

First, the moms don’t say hello to me.  Perhaps they are intimidated by my striped hoodie of super-cool thick rimmed glasses, but they just don’t say hello.  I would, in fact, go so far as to say about half of the mom’s actually look really angry.  Upon returning home to play Trouble with lil’ K, I told my wife, Heather, to make sure she smiles and says hello when she’s at Lj’s school.  She told me that the mom’s aren’t smiling because they had to do all the work in the morning and the husbands just drop them off.  Heather is what I call a Proverbs 31, version 2 woman.  She makes the Proverbs 31 woman look like a rook.

Perhaps she is right.  Either way, some church needs to start a ministry where they hand out coffees at the local school as parents drop their kids off.  If they are a cult-church they could lace the coffee with Prozac.  Just an idea…

Secondly, as I was walking down the hall I passed another dad dropping off his daughter.  Since he had two rocking sleeves of tattoos I knew a warm cuddly hug was out of order, so I gave him the standard man grunt greeting combined with a head nod.  It was the perfect cultural interaction between two dad’s trying to prove they are too cool for school.  His daughter proceeds to announce, “That’s LJ’s dad!”  To which the dad has no response.  This was a reminder to me that I am entering a long (and have been for a while) season in my life where I am fully living my life on behalf of someone else, my family.  This is, in my mind, the image of marriage and family that the Bible talks about, so it’s a privilege for me to be able to be used by God for other people with my last name.  My family, especially my children, are not my way of re-living out my life, or succeeding in areas where I sucked the first time through.  My kids will never win the game/pass the test/get first place for daddy.  That kind of stuff makes me want to puke.

I see multple implications here, the biggest of which is the need to be teaching parents what biblical marriage is and how to biblically lead a family.  Too many times I have heard, “the husband is the head of the family” and I look at the husband and he has no idea what the Bible teaches, has no intention of laying out his life for his wife and no clue on how to raise godly children.  Church leaders need to recognize this and not just sit on their hands, while moms and dads with good intentions continue to screw up succeeding generations.  Understand clearly – this, in my mind, is not a blame question.  However, some people need to look for blame and if anyone should take it, it’s the leaders (like me).  If the people don’t know the Scriptures, who’s to blame if not those charged with teaching them?

So, while I am not in a position to develop this right now, I think there needs to be a series created (and then distibuted freely – if the author needs money they can put it in a book) to teach Christian parents what the Bible says about them and their families.

I would suggest the following resources:

  • The Bible
  • Chap Clark’s Hurt
  • Jim Collins’ Good to Great
  • References to the National Study on Youth and Religion
  • Kenda Creasy Dean’s Practicing Passion
  • Oswald Sanders’ Spiritual Leadership
  • Henry Blackaby’s Spiritual Leadership
  • Jeff and Ken Gangel’s Fathering Like the Father
  • Brennan Manning’s The Ragamuffin Gospel
  • and any Douglas Coupland book as collateral reading.

So, that’s my rant for today, brought to you by angry soccer moms and a tattoo’d dad.

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