I distinctly remember the first big argument I had with my parents in my teenage years. Not surprisingly, it was over music and TV usage. I thought they were against me, but that thought only reflected my own ignorance.
To give some context, I was crazy about CBS’ hit show, JAG. My favorite musical artist was Geoff Moore and The Distance. If you grew up in the Christian subculture of the 1990s, you probably know them. If not, you weren’t exactly missing out on the Christian version of Journey. All that aside, I liked their songs, and still listen to them on occasion.
The day after my big fight with my parents, I came home to find the greatest hits album from Geoff Moore and The Distance on my nightstand. I was hyped. I blared that thing in my room for hours, especially his most famous song, “Home Run.”
I didn’t realize it at the time, but one song on the album perfectly captured an invaluable lesson my parents taught me. The chorus lyrics are, “Together we live, together we walk, together we stand, together we fall.” In short, my parents consistently said, “Let’s do it together.”
From age 3 until high school graduation I came to church with my Dad on Sunday at 7 am and helped him get things set up. Lots of other Pastors would have left their kids at home and perhaps their kids would have hated the church for stealing their Dad. I was never forced to come, but we did ministry together and I loved both the ministry and the togetherness.
My Mom is phenomenally gifted in the kitchen. She has won numerous Apple Pie baking contests. One of her champion apple pies recently sold for $450. That’s not a typo – $450 for one apple pie from my mother. Rather than kicking the kids into the yard while she baked champion pies, she invited us to bake pies with her. She finally convinced me to enter a contest with her – she got 3rd and I won! We ended up getting our picture together in the newspaper. My friends ridiculed me for winning a pie contest in the 9th grade, but how many men can share that experience with their mom?
My Dad really enjoys golfing. He and his best friend reached out to the owner of their favorite course and led him to Jesus! Dad later organized a golf league to bring his brother-in-Christ some more revenue. The highlight of my week as an elementary and junior high boy was on Monday night going with Dad to the golf course and carrying his clubs for the 9-hole round. I frequently hear golf bemoaned as the separator of families, but golf brought me and my Dad together.
In an earlier post, I referenced Mom’s leadership role in our church’s Vacation Bible School. Throughout the months of planning and preparing, mainly on Wednesday evenings, I was Mom’s special assistant. I’m not sure if I actually accomplished anything or just tagged along, but she made me feel like I was the main cog in her well-oiled machine. She easily could have left me at home (like most did with their kids), but she brought me to church and allowed me to serve with her.
What did my parents teach me? Together we live, together we walk, together we stand, together we fall. Whenever it’s possible, we should say, “Let’s do it together.”
Question: What is one activity where you can involve your spouse, kids, or parents? Leave a comment!