There aren’t many days that I don’t feel the weight of responsibility as a parent. My wife Jennifer and I have four beautiful gifts named Kamryn, Addison, Tessa and Samantha (four daughters, in case you didn’t catch that), and we count it a privilege to be their parents. But parenting is hard and there are many days I feel inadequate to the task. I call a family meeting and the girls whine. I try to discipline my daughters and instead of lovingly speaking the truth, I am harsh with them. The girls spend too much time on their phone, more than they do talking to me. The girls don’t love each other the way we have trained them to.
All of these things can be so discouraging and disappointing, and yet I don’t want to give up; I don’t want to give in. I want to keep fighting, keep trying, keep praying.
Even when we feel like we have fallen short, Jen and I keep reminding ourselves of the biblical mandate to “train up a child” (Proverbs 22:6) and “bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4). We challenge ourselves to abide in Christ, stay on the same team as a couple, and keep intentionally loving and training our children. We keep reading books on parenting (we are currently reading Age of Opportunity by Paul Tripp, which we highly recommend), we keep asking parents who have gone before us for counsel, and we keep looking for other means to help point our kids to Jesus and understand the gospel of grace.
Another helpful resource for us has been Fresno Christian Schools, a local partnership of The Well Community Church. Fresno Christian has been in existence since 1977, and for four decades has been about the mission of equipping young people for life and service in Jesus Christ. This K-12 school partners with parents and churches to provide a biblical foundation for students to understand about Jesus as well as walk in relationship with Him, all the while providing an outstanding academic, art and athletic program for them. Education is a vital part of a young person’s development, and Fresno Christian offers an excellent preparation for students.
As a 1991 graduate of Fresno Christian, I can attest firsthand to what it meant to have God’s Word planted in my heart as a student, for the impact that Christian teachers and coaches made on my life, and for the many opportunities I had to take AP classes, play multiple sports, sing in the choir and run for ASB President. Upon graduation I went into college with a firm foundation of the truth and the gospel. I still have friendships with many of my classmates and have seen the Lord use Fresno Christian to influence their lives for Christ as well.
Every day my oldest daughters, Kamryn and Addison, are experiencing the same elements at Fresno Christian that I did some 25 years ago. I’m seeing Kamryn sing her heart out while leading worship at chapel. I’m watching Addison serve others while in student leadership. I’m hearing about the influence of teachers like Aubri Foster or Kori Friesen (both attend The Well) and knowing the Lord is using them to help shape my daughters. I’m celebrating victories on the volleyball court and national journalism awards, all the while watching my girls grow in “wisdom and stature, in favor with God and man” (Luke 2:52).
Parenting is hard. But it is glorious and delightful as well. As a parent, I want to approach it with a sense of hope and a sense of mission. I want to enter the life of my daughters with help, love and truth. I want to join with my wife to be faithful to the call of parenting. I want to recognize that I need help. As the proverb goes, “It takes a village to raise a child,” and I’m grateful for the village of Fresno Christian Schools and The Well as viable and necessary partnerships to train and raise up my daughters.
Fresno Christian Schools is now enrolling students for the 2018/2019 school year. Students from The Well have priority enrollment through April 6, 2018. For more information or to schedule a tour, call 559-299-1695 x103, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.