Every new parent receives a lot of advice. I’d like to add my two cents, but from a different point of view. I want to share some of God’s wisdom with Tony Romo and his wife Candice, for their new baby boy, Hawkins. (Are they going to nickname him Hawk? Or Hawky?) I used to teach second grade and I never had a “Hawkins” on my role sheet. My boys are 23 and 26 years old, and I’m glad I asked for God’s help in raising them. I’m sure I would have made a lot more mistakes otherwise! I am hoping to write a book in the near future that “expands” some of these thoughts, but for now, the following are some important verses for parents. Oh and, one disclaimer. Please know that none of these “words of wisdom” need apply to the first few months of Hawkins’ life. Let’s face it…the first three months Hawkins will sleep, Tony and Candice won’t. Hawkins will eat and so will Tony and Candice. Just not together! He will cry, so will Tony and Candice. He won’t care what time of day or night it is, but Tony and Candice will. I would like to suggest that 3:00 A.M. would be a great time for Tony to go over next year’s playbook. You’re welcome, Candice. Now, to those parenting verses that will bless this family – and hopefully yours.
Psalm 126:2 – “Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy.” Laugh often and enjoy Hawkins. He will most certainly embarrass you at times because that is what kids do. He doesn’t exist to make you look good, you exist to make him look good. So…if you are going to laugh about something in three months or three years, go ahead and enjoy it now. Laughter and joy soften a lot of the “interesting” moments.
Ecclesiastes 3:1 – “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.” Enjoy each “season” with Hawkins. Every experienced mom you meet will tell you, “the time goes by so fast.” If EVERY mom tells you something – it is true. Time does fly by, and you will wish you had appreciated your life, and Hawkins’ life, just a little more often.
Jeremiah 29:11 – “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” God has a plan for Hawkins. I can almost promise you, it is different than the plan YOU have for him. Remember the adage, “If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.” Tony, Hawkins may want to be a computer geek or sing in the opera. He may hate football and getting pounded to the ground by the defensive tackle – of the New Orleans Saints. (Sorry, it had to be said.) God has a plan for Hawkins, and his plan needs to be your plan for Hawkins as well. That is his BEST life.
1 Corinthians 13:4 – “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.” Pay attention to the times when you tell Hawkins, “I love you.” If he only hears those words when he has done something to make you proud, he will think your love is conditional. He needs to know you love him all the time, especially when he doesn’t make you proud.
Revelation 3:19 – “Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent.” Hawkins will need to learn that discipline is a product of love. Parents need to know that the point of discipline is not to “punish behavior” but to change it. My motto was to discipline – once. Whatever you decide to do, it should be memorable. I’m not big on spanking, it doesn’t change the behavior. Kids think if they have been spanked, they have paid the penalty. The word “repent” means to stop, turn and go in the completely different direction. If your kids make the same mistakes, again and again, they weren’t disciplined well the first time. Discipline once, make it “memorable”, and let your child know that you expect the discipline to change the behavior. And remember, love is patient and kind – but discipline is costly. (In other words, if you think you should remove a privilege for a week, consider removing it for a month. Chances are, after a month – it won’t ever be worth repeating!) I was told, more than once, “they are only kids…you don’t need to be so hard on them.” I disciplined my boys when they were kids…I didn’t have to discipline them very often when they were teenagers. We were able to trust and enjoy our boys as teenagers, and I would wish the same for everyone.
Finally, live by James 1:25. “But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.” The best thing for your life, and for the life of your child, is to live a life God is able to bless. So look intently at God’s word. It isn’t advice or suggestions. It is pure truth. If Hawkins will live according to God’s word, he will have a successful life. He will be blessed.
Our country needs parents who will raise their kids according to God’s word. I hope that Hawkins Romo will grow up to be a strong man of God. Take a moment and pray for Tony and Candice. Then take a moment and pray for some other parents you know who are raising the next generation. That generation will be crucial to the future of our country. Imagine a nation governed by people who know God, follow God and are blessed by God. I vote for THAT! But remember Tony, for now, just do that 3:00 A.M. shift. Trust me – you will be blessed! (Candice, you’re welcome again!)