Recently I stumbled on a video put on FB where a high school kid asked (assumably) his girl friend to be his prom date. It is was an elaborate effort with the help of their friends, put together on the beach here in Dubai.
Two thoughts zoomed into my head like a violent river.
First, I thought to my self “WOW!! this guys prom date proposal was much more planned out than my marriage proposal to the love of my life. The one I chose to spend the rest of my life with”. Yes, I felt a little embarrassed of my proposal. So I will make it up to Candice, maybe buy her a bigger bling and orchestrate a lavish proposal setting. But to think about it, that’s not her, she likes surprises but not at the expense of braking the bank.
But the second thought that came into my mind I almost fell off my chair. It was an eye opener as to the kind of culture my beautiful precious girls will be exposed to growing up. This is reality, it’s the world we live in. I can never shield my girls forever, but I can do something to ensure they learn to make good decisions when they grow up.
So while thinking about this, I’ve written up some pointers on “Raising the Bar” for our kids.
1. Raise the Bar of Manhood
The way I treat my wife, the way I respect her, guide, provide, protect her needs to set a high standard for my girls to know “if mom could get a great husband who would do these things, then that is the standard I want to follow”. My life needs to be the example of the ideal man my girls would eventually pray to be with. Same goes with Daniel, he need to learn a high standard of manhood directly from me. My marriage to Candice will be the model (if not higher) of how he will treat his future wife.
2. Raise the Bar of Friendship
Friendship or companionship is what every person searches for. If we can foster a healthy friendship at home, it sets a high standard of choosing the right friends my girls would surround themselves with. Right now, I spend my weekends putting nail polish, color painting, role-playing “house” and other extreme girly things simply because I want my kids to know they have a friend in me. As they grow up, I will need to up my game and find new avenues of building our friendship.
3. Raise the Bar on Decision-Making
This is something Candice & I have already started doing. We allow our girls to take ownership and understand the consequences of their own decisions. For example, if there is spicy food, we tell the girls its spicy so don’t eat it. But if they insist, we allow them to eat it and know the consequences of spicy food. As young as they are, our kids need to have Biblical and Godly principles ingrained in them.
4. Raise the Bar of a God-Fearing Life
This is the most important, nothing beats it. Everything else will only add to or accentuate raising the bar of a God-Fearing Life. As a parent, the biggest and greatest responsibility to teach my kids the importance of KNOWING God. The onus falls on Candice & I living our lives firstly in the light of who God is. As long as we can succeed in guiding our kids in truly knowing who their maker is, all the above will fall in place.
This world has so many people who have kids. But not everyone gets to be a parent. Parenting is no walk in the park. But by depending on the Grace of God, His wisdom and with a sense of stewardship towards our kids, Parenting becomes one of the most fulfilling roles in life.
I’m loving every moment and season of it, thus far at least :-). I love spending time and doing life with my kids. Here are some of the things we do during our quality time, brilliantly and candidly captured by my beautiful wife :-).
It is my prayer that my kids would grow up to become world changers, the trend setter, the difference makers in their generation.