Motherhood,  Parenting

Assembly Not Included


The home should be a self-contained shelter of security;
a kind of school where life’s basic lessons are taught;
and a kind of church where God is honored”
~ Billy Graham, “My Answer”


A few years back, my husband and I came across an awesome desk/computer hutch. Closed up it looked like a provincial style wardrobe, but with the doors open and the front section pulled out, it became a large L-shaped desk–perfect for our home office.

We ordered the desk to be delivered the following week, and like most things these days it arrived in countless pieces, along with instructions that Einstein himself might have had trouble deciphering. Fastening, and fitting and flipping, and reading… the desk took us three evenings to complete.

We were fortunate enough to have a manual, and an idea of what the finished product should look like, but during the entire process I couldn’t help but wonder how single parents managed to do this–kudos to you. Even with the two of us working together to assemble this desk it took patience and time. And so it is with most things we buy–“assembly not included.”
Fortunately we have developed a system that has helped us to move things along. I read the instructions, gather the necessary pieces and hand them over to Michael to finish each piece.
So it is with family–“assembly not included.” You’re surrounded with children, parents, relationships, social situations and direction from the Word of God. You have some idea of what you hope things will look like, but in order to assemble it well, you need direction, patience and time.
Even with patience, time, and the best manual one can imagine you have a lot going against you. Sin is creeping at your door, day in and day out, hoping to undo all the good that you’ve done.
Knowing how quickly our children can be influenced by the outside world, we as parents need to be on guard at every turn. Who are they playing with? Where are they when they’re not at home? Who are they talking to online?
Until our children are adults we not only have a right to know where they are and what they are doing, we have a responsibility to find out.
One of the best pieces of advice ever given to me was from a mom who said, “Get to know your children’s friends. And make your house the place they all want to land.”
I love that advice and I’ve tried to do that by offering to pick up kids and drive them home when necessary. We’ve also set up a family room in the basement where the kids can play Wii and watch movies.
But I also realize that there will be times when they are out of my site and I’ll have trust them to adhere to what they’ve been taught.
There’s nothing that we as parents can do to control those situations, but there are ten things we can do to promote good results:
  1. Cover them in prayer often.
  2. Train them well, teaching them to value the precepts of God.
  3. Live by example.
  4. Encourage Christian fellowship from a young age.
  5. Wisely correct them when they have done wrong and offer due punishment when necessary.
  6. Offer them grace and a listening ear, keeping the lines of communication wide open.
  7. Spend time with them so they feel loved and respected.
  8. Honor your husband so they will honor him too.
  9. Keep peace in the home so they will enjoy being there.
  10. Hug them, hold them and tell them they’re loved.

And while you “assemble” this family of yours, may I offer a verse from the greatest manual yet?



All scripture is given by inspiration of God,
and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof,
for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly
furnished unto all good works.
~ 2 Timothy 3:16-17

Visit me at “Women Living Well” today
where I’m sharing a post called,
“How to Truly Hug Your Children.”

You are loved by an almighty God,

Darlene

For comments or questions, contact me at:
darlene[at]darleneschacht.net

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