We think that your marriage is a wonderful forum for instilling values, beliefs, principles and morals. Society sometimes just doesn’t know what to do with great men, great women, great dads, great moms, and people are often baffled by the wise, well spoken, and well centered children focused parents produce.
We were very proactive in our parenting. We share the details of how we raised our kids is in 10 Best Decisions a Parent Can Make. The main point is that all along the way we prayed specifically and planned intentionally. We developed a Learner and Leader Plan with a yearly Farrel Family Fun Day and on this day each year we negotiated privileges and responsibilities. We gave them a gift that applauded their calling each year.
We reinforced good choices with a Teen Relationship Contract, Education Contract, Driving Contract, and as media developed, we added in a Media
Contract. We added in plenty of fun like, father son trips and individual time with mom enjoying their favorite activities with plenty of time for deeper conversations.
At sixteen we gave them car keys with a verse on it, “It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control your own body in a way that is holy and honorable,” (1 Thes. 4:3-4 NIV) .
We also gave each son an ID bracelet with that same verse on it that they wore on dates. Then as they prepared to launch into their own life, we have a walk into manhood inviting all their mentors to a celebration.
We also have a Freshman Foundation Dinner and Dialogue which is a series of five sets of discussion questions we used to talk through critical areas as our children went away to college. (All these are available at our Love-Wise website).
Sometimes people say, “Bill and Pam, you are so intense”. We agree, we are intense—and intentional. Parenting is hard work, but the only thing harder is to not do the work and have to do much more repair work later because you didn’t spend the time sowing right thinking into your children’s lives. We just elected to do much of the hard work early so we could enjoy the fruit of having kids making wiser choices as they grew up. One mentor said to us, “Pay now or pay later—but you will pay.”
Bill and I found working and planning together as parents drew us closer as a couple. As a grandmother, I helped author, Raising a Modern Day Princess, because I was motivated to also
help my granddaughters (and grandsons) make wise choices. As grandparents, we want to back up all the important wisdom our now grown kids will be passing on to their own children by reinforcing the
values mom and dad are sharing.
We know God’s desire is for us to be proactive in passing along our values:
These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates (Duet 6:6-9)
We encourage parents to leave their trademark on their children ™
T- Traditions, the things you do yearly to pass on your faith and values.
M- Memories, the special once in a lifetime events or activities that build into your children.
So talk together about what you hope for as your children journey with you. What traditions, what memories do you want to plan in order to pass on your belief system?
Lord, help us be proactive in preparing our children well for the life journey you have for them. Give us wisdom and creativity as we plan traditions and memories. Amen
Pam and Bill Farrel are the parents of three godly grown sons, who each married God-honoring wives, and are raising 5 grandchildren to love and serve God too. The Farrels have penned several parenting books including 10 Best Decisions a Parent Can Make and 10 Questions Kids Ask About Sex. (Harvest House Publsihers) The Farrel family loves to gather on Bill and Pam’s live aboard boat in Southern California.