No Regrets in Parenting and Marriage

Last fall, Tim Challies and his wife wrote a series of articles called "18 Things I Will Not Regret Doing With My _______." There were three articles, that filled in that blank with:
  • Kids 
  • Wife 
  • Husband

I read them when he wrote them (if you read blogs on theology and the church, you should subscribe to his blog), and I recently re-read them. Those posts will challenge, inspire, and encourage you.

Here are the top ways that I agree with him on what I won't regret doing with my kids:
#1 Praying with them for them. Like Challies, I struggle with this, but it's something I know I need to do, and I never regret when I do it.
#5 Taking them out for breakfast. A suggestion from a long-time mentor, I've done this with each of my kids monthly (sometimes it's lunch or dinner) since my oldest was 8 months old.
#9 Doing special things. Though I am often hesitant to break out of my routine, I have never regretted doing something out of the ordinary with my kids.
#17 Pointing to the gospel. The most important thing I can do for them. I do this best in pro-active Bible instruction and conversations, and re-actively in corrective discipline.
#18 Telling them "I love you".  They can't hear this enough from me.

And here are the top things that I won't regret doing with my wife:
#1 Praying with her. Again, a big struggle for me, but I never regret doing it.
#3 Serving with her. She is my perfect complement in ministry.
#14 Delighting in her. I am constantly amazed that God has blessed me with such a great wife.
#17 Getting away with her. Another suggestion from the same long-time mentor I mentioned above, we've been able to do this every year of our marriage, except a couple.
#18 Saying "I love you". And I mean it every time.

I can't answer what my wife doesn't regret. But here are the things that I'm glad my wife has done for me
#4 Freeing me to serve. As much as we love to serve together, there are some things that we need to do separately (like my blogging). She gives me space to do this.
#5 Kissing me goodnight. We go to bed at the same time, and like to read until we drift off. But before that, she never neglects to give me a goodnight kiss.
#8 Laughing. I love how much fun we have together, especially re-telling funny moments in our life together.
#13 Following my lead. Not that she just "gives in" and let's me do whatever (ahem . . . I once wanted to sell my car and just use a bike to get around). But when I come up with "crazy" ideas (me: "We need to go to Disney World." Joanna: "Can we afford it?" me: "No. But I'll find a way."), she is willing to trust me.
#15 Greeting me. This goes for when I come home from work, or when she greets me after she wakes up (I'm usually awake for an hour or more before she gets up).

What about you? Is there anything you will never regret doing with your spouse or children? Let me know in the comments.

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