I’m not 16 years old anymore.
I’m not concerned about name brand clothes or whether others like the car I drive.
I’m a 44-year-old father. I’m not doing life to be cool.
I want to love my children, teach them about God, correct them and always show up. And because those are my life goals-I’m not driven by whether or not the parents of my children’s classmates like me. Are you?
Because, it seems that some of the things that concerned us in school are the same things that concern us today. No, not a class ring or letterman’s jacket. But continuing at 35 or 53 to care what others think of us.
Our kid is bullied by some kid in their class and we don’t mention the child’s behavior to his parents because we don’t want to be known as “those parents”.
Or a child from school comes home with our child and she is disrespectful or refuses to obey — and we refuse to correct her because we’re afraid the child will go to school and talk badly about us and make our child the school pariah.
What is really at the heart of this? We want to be liked and we want our child to be liked. Right?
When I was a child, I spoke as a child, understood as a child, thought as a child…but, when I became a man, I put away childish things.
Friends, some of us need to grow up we are not in high school anymore.
Many of the things that happen today, happen because we don’t care enough to address things that need to be addressed.
I cannot determine the behaviors my children choose each day. But I can show them the right way by praying over them, teaching them about God and by teaching them to love and respect others.
Sometimes they do not obey. They do not meet the standard set for them. When they disobey, they are corrected, reminded of expectations, told they are loved unconditionally and punished for the offense.
I don’t want to be the reason why the thing that happened to my child happened to my child. And because we do not want to see certain things happen to them, we have decided to teach standards in our home and to address behaviors from the outside that influence our children in a detrimental way.
If a child is invited into our home and is disrespectful or disobedient, I address those things and let the child know those things aren’t tolerated in our home. If another child bullies my child and their parents don’t say anything to that child, I will.
It’s my job. It’s what I signed up for. And I will protect my children at all cost!, I’m not 16 years old anymore. I don’t care if you think I’m cool.
And if doing the things I do, makes you, as a parent of one of my children’s classmates, dislike me, I’m OK with that.
Joey Haynes is a follower of Jesus, married way out of his league, has two of the coolest children in the universe and is blessed to work with an amazing community of believers known as The Church at Rome.