My wife and I have been wrestling through a major decision, and for the first time in as long as I can remember, I have been at a total loss as to what the best decision is. Over the couple weeks I have wavered between two extremes regarding this decision and my wife and I couldn’t come to a stable and lasting consensus. Just when we thought we’d reached a decision, one of us would have a moment of serious doubt.
This has been a really frustrating experience for me because I usually make decisions very quickly. I knew we needed some outside guidance but I wasn’t sure who to ask. Then it occurred to me that I could ask my parents. I know that doesn’t sound like an appealing option for many people out there who have had strained relationships with their parents. But God have me the gift of two wonderful parents whose opinions I deeply trust and respect. Though I’m in my mid-40’s, it was SUCH a great comfort to be able to go to my parents and ask for their advice and prayers.
After about an hour of really great conversation, laying out all the details of our decision and why we felt stuck, my parents gently gave me some guidance that unraveled all the tension that had been building up over the last couple of weeks. This deep openness I feel toward my parents is the product of a lifetime of seeing their character on display and proving again and again that they are worthy of my trust and respect.
As I drove home from their house I kept praying that my wife and I would be parents who would make daily investments in our children’s lives and live in such a way that no matter how old they get or how far apart we end up living, they would always feel like they could turn to us for prayer support and wise counsel.
As a pastor I see almost everyday the impact that parents have on people. I think that impact is lifelong and reaches to a depth that few other influences can. We may not all have been given the gift of great parents, but for those of us who are parents ourselves, let’s ask God to help us get it right and be a blessing to our children.