I came from a poor background so I thought that a big house would make my children feel important. I didn’t realize that all it takes is my love.
I thought money would bring them happiness, but all it did was make them think that things were more important than people.
I thought spanking them would make them tough so that they could defend themselves. All it did was stop me from seeking wisdom so that I could discipline and teach them.
I thought that leaving them alone would make them independent. All it did was force my one son to be the father to my second son.
I thought that by smoothing over all of the family problems I was keeping peace. All I was teaching them was to run rather than lead.
I thought that by pretending to be the perfect family in public that I was bringing them respectability. All I was teaching them was to live a lie and keep the secret.
I thought that all I had to do to be a father was make money, stay at home and supply all their material needs. All I taught them was that there is more to being a dad. The problem is they will have to guess what being a dad really is.
And Dear God,
I hope you can read this prayer. My tears have smudged a lot of words.
From “Stories for the Heart” by Alice Gray (Multnomah, 169).