Step 1. You’re dreaming about becoming a parent. You want to bring life into the world, leave a legacy, your namesake, or an heir. You’re dreaming of having smart, wonderful, empowered children that love you and make a contribution to the world. Parenting is wonderful at its best and challenging at its worst.
There’s nothing like holding a newborn baby and having that infant smile back at you. The baby thinks that you’re wonderful and you think that your infant is an incarnation of the baby Jesus. You get to view the beauty of life and the world all over again through the eyes of your infant. The baby teaches you unconditional love and smiles and reaches out to anyone without fear.
Unfortunately, your infant grows and must learn stranger-danger and that the world at times can be an unsafe place. I want to share some advice that has helped me along the way as a parent. In a nutshell, it’s best wrapped up by what flight attendants repeatedly say—in the case of an emergency, put the oxygen mask on yourself first so that you’ll have air to care for your children.
Empowering your kids means both parents put oxygen masks on themselves first. This allows them to build a firm and safe nest for their eaglets before they have them. Giving yourself oxygen means giving yourself hope, courage, and faith. It means being true to yourself, being honest, and forgiving. These are the ingredients that will pump life into your marriage and children.
You don’t enter the marriage depending on the other person to make you whole. When you’re feeling depleted, you put on your oxygen mask so that you can help yourself and others to breathe. Both parents realize that they’re two imperfect people, committed to loving and making the other person the best that they can be.
If and when you have children, you’ve been given the precious gift of life. Children that one day may find a cure for cancer, AIDS, incurable diseases, become a president, world leader, great mother, or father.
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As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them. Psalm 127:4-5