First things first. I love the diversity in this little “iPad in the dishwasher” readership community. My goal was to create something that would appeal to an extremely broad spectrum of people. Whether it be: gender, age, socioeconomic status, parent or non-parent, single or married, etc., I love the variety of people that enjoy sharing the experience of life together with the Megows. Another thing that I feel I’m truly blessed with, is a pretty diverse audience when it comes to spiritual or non-spiritual beliefs. I don’t take this as a platform to be preachy nor sway anyone’s opinion by whatever I write. To be fair about 87% of all of this is probably fart jokes and embarrassing dad stories, so I’m not sure how that would relate in that area anyways. While I have my own beliefs and think it’s important for others to have theirs, I’m neither pretty positive that most people simply dislike debating, nor do they enjoy have people try to convince me of anything with “facts”. Most of these conversations end up with people becoming more entrenched in their own ideas and sometimes leave a bitter taste in our mind of the other person or their point of view. So all of that being said, I want to discuss God and Parenting. Hopefully, that won’t turn anyone off to reading this post, but if it does, I promise the next post will be back to the normal nonsense. :)
I rarely talk about my faith in depth on the blog. Not that it’s not important; to me it’s the most important aspect of my life. Like I said earlier, that’s just not my style. To be honest, I'm not one to initially engage people much on the topic of my spiritual beliefs. Again, that’s just the way I’m wired. I prefer to just live the closest I can to Jesus. My goal is to life in such a way that there’s something refreshing and peaceful amidst this background of the chaos of the world. I truly believe that draws people. (Not that there’s anything wrong with anyone just bluntly bringing up their spiritual beliefs with anyone. In fact, I think that’s great. It’s just not the way I do it. We are all wired differently. Isn't that so neat!!) I love the idea that my life is so radically changed from once was. I love that God made me an encourager. I love the God gave me the gift of joy. I just love the way God wired and continues to wire me. I just love God. I want that love to be curious to anyone who wants to know more. I’ve talked to quite a few people about what I believe once they have asked me about my life. I love to share because it’s shockingly simple. I think that’s also how I incorporate loving God into being a parent.
I think my biggest fear is that my children might see me as a hypocrite. I know that’s pretty blunt, but it’s the truth. I couldn’t imagine a worse scenario for my children’s and my relationship. “Well, dad says this, but dad does this. Dad says God wants us to live this way, but dad doesn’t live like that.” That’s utterly terrifying to me as a parent. They soak up EVERYTHING. My kids can still recall the time I yelled at them 3 years ago for letting the bath water fill the bathroom. The good and the bad, they just soak it up. So first of all, I make sure that whatever I teach them, I’m actually doing in my own life or else it’s not only going to not be effective, but probably lead to some trust issues and confusion later down the road.
Also, children are so wonderfully inquisitive. My kids love to hear Bible stories or ask questions about heaven, right vs wrong, church, etc. At that young of an age, they just have the ability to sense peace & love and are drawn to that. I love to talk about God with them. I love to talk about why I love Jesus with them. They are quick to ask questions and are already forming their own individual opinions that are probably different than mine. I just think that’s great. I don’t want my kids to just have a copy & paste theology of whatever I believe. I want them to have their own unique God encounters. I can show them building blocks of believing and living like Jesus, but I want them to be passionate about finding out more. In my opinion, if I try to give my kids the full definition and describe the full personality of God that would be doing them a disservice. I think that’s one thing I really appreciate about the way my parents raised me. They gave us basic building blocks, but pretty much encouraged us to get to know Him personally.
Next point. Children have so much faith and willingness to believe their parents. I teach my kids about God, and they want to learn. However, while I believe the faith of a child is probably the most beautiful thing ever, there is such a complexity and just awe about God at the same time. At times it can be just a lot to take in for a little kid. In Sunday school they memorize verses, at dinner we read devotionals; at VBS they do Christian crafts. All of these things teach them about God. Please don’t misunderstand me. I love all of those things. I just don’t want my kids to be drowned in a sea of cute crafts and bible verse memorization games, that they miss real world application. This is my job as a parent. I’m nowhere close to perfect. My kids see my screw up daily. However, I want them to also see me forgive daily. I want them to see me go out of my way to help someone just because. I want them to see dad return cruelty with kindness. I can’t think of a better way to instill a solid foundation of kindness and love. Pretty much, I want them to see me love people because I love God. Then, I want to bring them in, and let them see how incredible it feels to serve others. That’s basically my entire goal. And yes. Wow. That’s such a responsibility. How many people do you know get turned off from their parents’ beliefs because of the behavior of their parents? So yes, I teach my kids. But I want them experience to actually experience serving God and serving others. I want to show them the best way I know how to live a self-less life.
The funny thing is that I believe that my kids are so much cooler than me. I am already seeing them love people so much more intentionally and personally than I could ever imagine. They make it a point to either hug or compliment someone literally everywhere we go. I guarantee they will pinpoint at least one person and shower them with love. Tonight we went to the grocery store and while we were checking out, Stevie peeked over the counter and said to the cashier “I love your name. It’s so pretty, just like your face. Can I give you a hug?” Duh. My heart melted. Speaking of heart melting, this is probably my favorite Megow activity. I’ve never shared it before, but I think now’s a fun time to share. About a year or two ago, we randomly bought a cashier a candy bar when we were checking out. It just made her day. Her face literally lit up with joy. Now almost EVERY time we check out, I let the kids take turns asking the cashier what his/her favorite candy bar is, finding that candy bar amongst the selection near the register, sneaking it into the back of our groceries, and finally after we pay they exclaim with a huge smile “That candy is for you!” I’ve seen cashiers cry before from these little sweet kids picking them out candy and buying it for them. I mean, of course, I’m the one paying. But I’ve just seen this amazing development in their hearts and mind at the checkout. They have shifted from asking for candy for themselves to guessing the cashier’s favorite candy. That’s something I never would have done as a child. They are just so amazing, and I love it so much.
Now I say all of this to say I am far from the perfect example of Godly parenting. I’m still selfish, grumpy, and yell enough to convince myself of that. My kids and I are still learning all of this each day. I wanted to write this post, mostly just to talk about how neat and fulfilling it is to be able to experience all of this as a family. To see my kids grow and flourish in ways I couldn’t even plan or comprehend yesterday. It’s just a gift that we get to experience with each new day. :D
Be Blessed and Be a Blessing,