Dear mothers and fathers, you are raising the next generation of mothers and fathers. You have the most important job in the world, so don’t allow yourself to feel as though your role is invisible or doesn’t matter. You are the architects of future family systems.
You are the builders laying down the foundation for generations to come. You are the soil that roots take hold of. You are artists who painfully work each day sculpting, refining, and creating the masterpiece that your children are.
There is no audience more important than that of children. They watch you, they listen to you, and they move with you. If you sway one way, they will follow. If you give up, they may never try. If you conquer a mountain, they will climb up after you. If you finish the race, they will yearn to cross the finish line as well.
If you embrace faith, then let them see you live it out. If charity makes your heart beat, then be charitable to them and in front of them. If you value friendships, then teach them to be a good friend. If humility is something you desire for them, then be humble. If you know you have been captured and saved by grace, then be gracious. If hope is all you have, then grab on to it with all of your might so that your children will recognize what it is to have a hopeful heart.
Strength can be spoken in many forms and languages; all of which children can hear, see, and feel. There’s the strength you find yourself holding on to when holding them in the middle of another sleepless night. There’s the strength used to put one foot in front of the other, to pick yourself up after you’ve fallen, and to cling on to when striving for a better future. There’s also the strength needed to admit when you are wrong.
Courage is needed when learning how to let go, so let go, dear mothers and fathers. Let go of bad habits that ruin your health and your hearts, relationships that are degrading and devaluing, and regrets that have become your bondage. This bondage you wrap yourself up in has a generational impact, so stop it before it clings to your children, and your children’s children.
Find your voice and speak it loud. If you favor kindness, then speak kindness loud enough for children to hear. Speak it into the darkest of places, into the hardest of hearts, and into the lives of those who need it the most. Soon, your children will speak it as well.
Yearn, dear mothers and fathers, yearn to make this world a better place for your children and your children’s children. Yearn to be the dad you never had, or the mother you wish you would have had. Yearn to be the kind of parent your children want to grow up to be. Yearn to be their example of a life lived well.
Don’t stop believing in yourself and what you mean to the little eyes, beating hearts, and little ears that look up to you. You don’t have to be a perfect parent, but you must be a present parent. Don’t ever lose sight of how much you mean to your children. You mean the world to them. You are the world to them, so don’t forget that.
Dear mothers and fathers, parenting is the hardest job you will ever have. It will test your limits, break your hearts, and exhaust your bodies, but don’t give up. Be the parent you want your children to be. Be yourself – they love who you are. Be genuine, authentic, and comfortable with who you are so that they too will feel safe in their own skin. Be strong and be courageous. Just be, mothers and fathers, be the architects, builders, soil, and artists of future fathers and mothers. Just Be.