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Your Faith Legacy And Your Family: The Quiet Truth

It is often said that lies are loud, whereas truthful things like faith, love, and devotion are quiet. During those quiet moments, we can hear God's voice, and even the smallest act of love can accomplish a great deal of good. How can we pass this quiet truth to our children amidst the noise and chaos of school, chores, sports, and other activities?

It was a crazy and hectic summer at our Harbor Home. My sainted husband and I enjoyed all nine of our grandchildren, our four grown children, and their wonderful spouses as they came to spend time at our home on Lake Norman.

Several of the children learned to water ski, we pulled them all on the tube, swam and ate and told stories, made s'mores, and watched the cousins play. We made the best, and most magical memories ever. However, the exhaustion that followed was epic. Woah.

FYI moms of littles: parenting bigs is at least as much fun as parenting littles. This is the stage of parenting when you get to experience the fruit of your labor. I hope this is filled with laughter and happiness for you. I have stored up in my heart many wonderful memories of watching our bigs enjoy their littles.

Sweet Mama, you have so much to look forward to. The friendship of your adult children is the reward for conscientious parenting. Stay true to the powerful calling of raising your children well. As I have, you will find that the rewards far outweigh the challenges.

Your family's legacy will bring you joy as the years pass into the years ahead. Each member of your family will develop in their own way and live their own life. But creating a connection between you begins in the earliest years of parenting.

Creating this connection occurs when wiping noses while simultaneously folding towels; fixing little wooden train tracks while emailing your coworkers; and changing diapers while kicking dirty laundry into the hamper. You prepare meals, help with homework, and answer questions about life. Hopefully, you are eating together around a table each day, reading aloud to one another, and telling jokes. These are the activities that create families that are bound in love.

True family faith is an integral part of creating your legacy. It is the mortar that sets the stones. It melds naturally into the hours and days making your faith inseparable from your natural life. Your quiet faith helps you bite back the sharp words during times of frustration or anxiety and gentles the frantic pace of our overbooked lives.

I am celebrating my 63rd New Year in 2024. In that time I have learned that creating a family, making a home, working in the Kingdom of God, and cultivating a deep faith doesn't ever happen by accident. In my over six decades I have learned so much about the art of deliberate faith development within the family home.

Here are some tidbits that you can pick up and use today to create a Harbor Home for your family:

  1. Lower the volume. I mean the word volume mathematically here. Volume is a measure of the amount of things. So lower the amount of stuff. Fewer planned activities, fewer organized sports, fewer things that require you to rush yourself and your children. This will then lower the volume of noise as well. Less yelling, more laughing. Less bickering, and more stories shared. Let this be the year you slow down and enjoy your family by spending time together.

  2. Deepen your faith by doing what works. There is one sure and certain way to deepen your faith and that is to spend time in prayer, worship, and reading scripture. Privately practicing these accomplishes more than just deepening your faith. You are also setting an example for those around you. 1 Peter 3:1 encourages wives to lead their husbands to Christ "without words". This concept works for children as well. When you intentionally lean into Christ through the spiritual practices that Christ Himself used, you are putting a beautiful nonverbal message out there.

  3. Smile at your family. Let your child catch you looking at them with joy. Show them with your smiles that you are glad that you are their parent. Let your spouse see that you are proud to be married to them. Practice cheerful words of greeting for those moments when you see one another after several hours. Have several phrases that are warm and welcoming on the tip of your tongue so they flow from you naturally and freely. How about a simple, "It's so good to see you!" or "I'm so glad you're home!" "I missed you! Tell me about your day!" Greeting your family with a smile and offering a welcome will create an atmosphere of love and inclusion.

  4. Work through the "even if" These techniques for building a legacy of faith and love work only when at least one adult in the room decides to do them "even if". I mean that you give a smile and a warm greeting even if your teen is snarly in response. Or even if your five-year-old throws rocks at the car. Pray and read and worship even if your spouse grunts in front of a football game while you take the children and go to church. Give love even if it doesn't come back in the way you would like. Somewhere along the line, the love you pour out will manifest in ways you can't predict. You will be glad you did.

Spend this year doing the simple, gentle acts of love that build a family well. Dig deep for the patience, the humor, and the kindness that will help your children be securely attached to you and their community.

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