Stronger Families

Discipling From the Storm

Paul Gotthardt2 comments476 views

People send me “funny” e-mails all the time. I’ve got a pretty standard policy on how I handle these things. If it’s not funny within the first couple of lines, I hit the delete button and move on. Life is too short to read non-funny e-mails. If it’s marginally funny, I read the whole thing, and then hit the delete button. But if it’s actually funny, I print it, file it, and there’s a pretty good chance that it will find it’s way into a message or blog post in the future.

I want to share an e-mail I received in May of 2000. The e-mail is entitled, “Things about kids that all parents should know.” It says…

“For those who already have children past this age, this is hilarious. For those who have children nearing this age, this is a warning. For those who have not yet had children, this is birth control. The following came from an anonymous mother in Austin, TX.”

Things I’ve learned from my children…

  1. A king size waterbed holds enough water to fill a 2000 square foot house 2 inches deep.
  2. A 3 year olds voice is louder than 200 adults in a crowded restaurant.
  3. If you hook a dog leash over a ceiling fan, the motor is not strong enough to rotate a 42 pound boy wearing Batman underwear and a Superman cape.  It is strong enough to hit a baseball through a double pane glass window.
  4. When you hear the toilet flush and the words ‘Uh-oh,’—it’s already too late.
  5. A six-year old can start a fire with flint rock, even though a 36-year old man says they only do that in the movies.
  6. Certain Legos will pass through the digestive tract of a 4 year old.
  7. No matter how much Jell-O you put in a swimming pool, you still can’t walk on water.
  8. Pool filters do not like Jell-O.
  9. The fire department in Austin has a 5 minute response time.
  10. The spin cycle on the washing machine does not make earthworms dizzy.  It will, however, make a cat dizzy. FYI, dizzy cats can throw up twice their body weight.

That’s just funny to me. Before you had kids, everyone said the same thing: “Your life will never be the same again.” Have you every noticed that people rarely elaborate on that comment? What do you mean that your life will never be the same again?  “You’ll see!”—as they walk away with a sinister laugh. Parenting can be tough!

I talk to parents all the time who say, “I love being a parent, but life seems to be an endless rat race. I want to teach them about God. But after a day of crying, ball practice, drama, cleaning food off the ceiling, tripping over toys, trips to the school, and dislodging my iPod from the dish disposal—I’ve got nothing left to give. I’m tired. I’m cranky. I need some silence. Besides, I don’t even know where to begin.”

If you’ve ever felt that way, you’re not alone. Over the next several posts, I’m going to walk parents through a familiar passage in Deuteronomy 6 and help them develop a discipleship plan for their family. The plan will cover 4 essential concepts that parents need to address.

  1. Time—when do I do it?
  2. Knowledge—what do I do?
  3. Consistency—how can I do this regularly?
  4. Qualification—am I really qualified to do this?

If you have questions, topics, or ideas you’d like for me to address in this series, please post them in the comment section. I will do everything I can to address them as I proceed.

Paul Gotthardt
Is learning to live from the overflow of my relationship with Jesus; Husband, Father, Pastor, Church Planter, Author, UGA grad... football and UFC enthusiast.


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