Building a Strong Foundation for the Next Generation to Stand on

next generationI once heard a pastor say he hopes and prays for the parents that our ceiling would be our children’s floor. If you take a minute and think about that, you really are building a foundation for the next generation to grow up on. Of course, as a father I always want my children to be better than me, to make fewer mistakes than I did, to have more wisdom, to do better in school or even remember school. Thinking of how to do that as a father is probably one of the most fearful and difficult things to make sure you do correctly. The last thing any parent wants to do is to mess up their children’s lives. If you have children, you know the love you have for them. You want to keep them from even the smallest mistakes and to shelter them.

 

Making mistakes

However, sometimes as a father I look forward to my children making mistakes, of course, in a controlled environment. You see, when you make a mistake you get to learn and grow. In the same way, our Father in Heaven allows us to make a decision that may or may not have great outcomes. He sees it as an opportunity to teach us, grow us and help us become more. I won’t even begin to share all the mistakes I’ve made that have turned into amazing opportunities for growth over the years. I’m not saying I want my children to make those mistakes, but mistakes and decisions are always opportunities to grow. I believe my father growing up always looked for me to learn from his mistakes by allowing me to make decisions.

 

Creating a positive environment

Thinking that my ceiling will be my sons’ and daughter’s floor is huge to me, especially as I reflect on what I grew up with. What they get to grow up with is vastly different. They grow up knowing who God is in their life and what that means. They are growing up blessed to be homeschooled, and we get to teach them amazing things that are not always taught in public school. The flexibility of homeschool allows us more flexibility to have more freedom and family time. The ability for my kids to come in to work at the office with me at a young age helps them learn valuable real life skills. And all of the things that I didn’t get to do when I was their age, they are getting to do, which helps them build a foundation on what I have already been able to teach them.

 

Being their biggest fan

But are just life lessons, freedom for flexibility, and practical skills enough to build upon? I think the one thing that as parents or fathers we really focus on is looking out and watching everything they do. Of course, we are praying for them but also helping them hope and dream that nothing is out of reach. One thing my father always did with me that I remember is to go off on rabbit trails of doing fun stuff. Nothing was ever limiting or held back for lack of money or opportunity. And in no way am I saying we had lots of money growing up, quite the opposite. My parents were divorced when I was very young, which was almost a typical family environment for my generation. But my dad was always the one to smile and give an encouraging word, just like I see my Father in heaven – always encouraging, saying you can do it and go for it. I am behind you one hundred percent.

So thanks Dad for always encouraging me. For always believing and trying to work things out with me to make things happen. Just as you were a business owner, you taught me that as a business owner it isn’t always easy or fun, but if you are called to do it, do it well.

 

In this issue there are several articles about fathers looking ahead to Father’s Day on June 21. Producer Kevin Downes reflects on his relationship with his father and the making of the film, “Faith of Our Fathers,” which opens in theaters July 1.  There is also an article on the unique challenges facing single fathers.

This month as you think of your father on earth, thank him and your Father in heaven for who he made you to be and exactly where you are. I don’t know any father on earth that does not wish that his ceiling would be his children’s floor to build upon. No matter if they have said it or not, all fathers want the best for their children, so thank your father and honor him this month in a special way.

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