24/7/365/20

I once asked our friend Kathy Thomson what she did to raise two exceptional kids, Andrew and Lydia. Somewhat surprised, she threw her head back and laughingly answered, “I yelled a lot.”

In those four little words, Kathy expressed what a lot of parents feel, especially moms. Many moms feel like they are nagging, yelling, reminding, directing, over and over on the same things each day for a long time. And they are. Parenting is the most difficult responsibility because it is too important to let go. You just get no rest. You are at it 24/7/365/20: 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, 20 years.

Even the most cooperative kids have moments when they are, well, just kids. They forget, they relapse, they struggle against the programming. And all of that is normal.

We remind them again and again. In the process we feel the frustration and that also is normal. We keep reminding because we care. Isaiah 28:9-10 refers to training children like this: “Do and do, do and do, rule on rule, rule on rule ; a little here, a little there.” Little by little, all those reminders add up.

You might tell them one hundred times to eat the right kind of food. Then a coach says it, or a youth minister, or a teacher, and they come home and say, “You know, Mom, my coach says that I need to eat the right kind of food.” He says it like it is the first time he ever heard it. I like to think that your 100 times made room for the coach’s once.

In 2 Peter 1:12, Peter said, “So I will always remind you of these things . . .” His goal was to establish his readers in the truth. Isn’t that your goal, too?

Don’t give up, don’t quit. Your reminders matter; they establish your kids in important things.

Don’t judge yourself in the 7 or the 24 or the 365. Wait for the 20. You just might be surprised, and like Kathy, raise some exceptional kids.

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