“You may speak but a word to a child, and in that child there may be slumbering a noble heart which shall stir the Christian church in years to come.” –  Charles Spurgeon

Being a new parent can be as hard as it is rewarding. But imagine for a moment that you could go back in time. When you look back at your past, pain and challenges that defined that period for you—heartache, loss, failure, shattered dreams, mistakes, regrets, doubts, fears — come to mind.

There are no end to the things we would like to change, or at least do a little better if we had the opportunity for a do-over. But there are two things that come to mind for me that I would like to share with you.    

First, I would come to the realization sooner, that my ability to change my kids is pretty limited. Yes, I am the father and the burden for discipline and change rests at least in part on me. I thought that the force of my logic, the threat of my discipline, the look on my face, or the tone of my voice, could change the hearts of my children, and in changing their hearts, change their behavior. It didn’t always work out as well as I had hoped. Soon I began to understand that if all my children needed was my guidance and me as a parent functioning as a judge, jury, and executioner, Jesus would have never needed to come. It dawned on me that for real and lasting change to happen in my kids and in me, it could only happen through the powerful, forgiving, and transforming grace of the Lord Jesus Christ. I began to realize that as a parent I had not been called to be the be all end all for my kids, but a willing tool for God to make the changes in us He wants to make. 

Second, the more I realized that in order to be a tool of grace, I needed grace myself. Most new parents have a feeling of autonomy and self-sufficiency. But then we find out, usually the hard way, that we do not have the endless patience, perseverance, constant love, and ever-ready grace that we thought we had. The simple truth is that raising home run kids is bigger than our ability is as parents. The good news is we are not left to the resources of our own character, wisdom, and strength. We have Jesus. He is with our kids and working in and through us. 

So when people ask me ,“If you could go back in time and change something in your past, would you?” My answer is no. God has a plan and a purpose for everything in our lives and stands by our side as we work to raise home run kids. We just need to remember that we are not going it alone.

Discussion Questions

  1. Would going back in time help you better answer the question, “what do you want for your kids?”
  2. How much of raising home run kids is God and how much is you? Why?
  3. What can you do differently this week to raise home run kids?