This past weekend, Jamie and I celebrated Mother’s Day with my family here in Texas. We had a nice brunch at our house and then drove out to Driftwood, TX, to see the house that Jamie and I are currently in the process of building. We’re planning on moving into the new house sometime this fall and we find ourselves driving out there to check out the progress almost every weekend. At this point, the foundation has been poured and framing has almost been completed.
As we walked around the property yesterday, I found myself thinking a lot about the future and more specifically our future kids. We largely built this house with them in mind. The one thing I find myself thinking about more than anything is the importance of creating a strong foundation for our future kids. Just as a great house is built on a strong foundation or a beautiful large oak tree is standing tall with deep roots in the earth, so too does a happy, healthy individual need to have a strong base, as well.
Not only did the house make me think of this, but as we drove back from looking at the progress of our house we drove by the schools that our future kids will eventually attend. It made me think, what are some of the most important things I want my future kids to learn from Jamie and I? While school is a vital place for learning, one of the most underrated yet important places to learn is in your own household. Parental guidance is more important now than ever.
What I want my future kids to learn more than anything is to think for themselves. I want them to understand that stereotypes, black and white thinking, and judging people or situations in such a way that you simply lump them into categories is debilitating to your intellectual and spiritual growth. I want them to understand that the world is not easy to understand. You can’t neatly piece everything together like a puzzle or connect dots like it’s some sort of game.
I want my kids to understand the importance of always taking a step back when opinions or information is given to them. Whether it be from the TV, friends, or even their own mom and dad, I want them to analyze and question what everyone has to say and choose for themselves what they think is the right opinion to take. Don’t let the world or society pressure you into thinking there are only two sides to every conversation and that’s it. That’s not true. There can always be some truth taken from both sides. You just have to figure out which stance you want to take on a case by case basis.
Don’t let political parties define you. Don’t let religious denominations or beliefs define you. Seek truth not acceptance. Listen to others as you should listen to yourself. You may be surprised by how much truth you learn from someone you would least expect it. While it is great and important to have beliefs and opinions, it is just as important to have your heart and mind open to the opinions of others because they may surprise you. For example, you may believe in God, but it is important to listen to others who don’t. You can always learn something from them or the conversation and by listening and having conversation with them they will respect you all the more for it.
How many of you grew up hearing the phrase, “If everyone jumped off a bridge, would you?” More than likely your parents said that more than once in your lifetime. I know mine did! It’s good advice because life is very much this way. Oftentimes, many people will base most of their actions on whether or not it’s popular or not. That doesn’t make it right and that doesn’t make it true. I want my kids to recognize this and understand that sometimes taking the road less travelled will gift you wisdom and knowledge that you never would have gained taking the popular route.
It takes a strong foundation to think for yourself. It takes a strong foundation to be secure enough in yourself to “float upstream”. It takes a strong foundation to withstand the anger, bullying, insecurity of others who are offended by your differing opinions on topics. It takes a strong foundation to stand up for truth and always seek it regardless of what others think, including your friends and family.
Not enough people have this strength in our world today. I want my kids to strive for this and I want to do what I can to help guide them toward that strength. The strongest roots lead to the healthiest growth and the most beautiful blooms. I’m confident that with the help of God our kids will understand the importance of having a strong foundation and will use this as ammo and armor as they venture off into the world as adults someday.