The first school in which we enroll, and the most important in shaping our future, is our home. A casual view of modern TV shows might lead us to believe that parents don’t matter. I contend that nothing matters more.
When Benjamin West was a boy, his mother left him in charge of his younger sister, Sally. Benjamin found bottles of colored ink and painted Sally’s portrait. When his mother arrived home, she discovered spilled ink and ruined paper. But before she had the chance to scold Benjamin, she saw the picture. Then she planted an encouraging kiss on his cheek. He would grow up to become of the greatest painters of historic and religious artworks, a teacher of many other famous artists, and a major force in launching Britain’s Royal Academy of Arts, for which he served as president. Benjamin West would later say, “My mother’s kiss made me a painter.”
Every child’s life is like a book of blank pages waiting to be written on. Something is written each day. A parent who exposes a child of hours of television, video games, unsupervised time on the Internet, and an occasional trip to church is not likely to raise a child whose value system will mirror that of the parent. The child will probably reflect the value system of the entertainment industry.
While researching for a book I co-wrote on juvenile delinquency (“Kids Who Kill”), I became aware that children need parents who are informed, involved and (yes) invasive in their children’s lives. There is no single fact that will explain why a child as young as eleven would commit mass murder, but one thing seems certain: the likelihood of this taking place decreases drastically when children have a stable home, good role models and parents who are clearly more afraid for their children than afraid of their children.
Too many parents fear angering or alienating their children. They convince themselves that love means avoiding asking their children questions about how their time is spent and who their friends are. They fool themselves into thinking they’re being good parents when they don’t hold their children accountable for their schoolwork and other activities. On the other hand, we shouldn’t be “helicopter parents” who are so overprotective that our children turn into a generation of “snowflakes” who cannot learn through their failures or develop a healthy maturity and independence.
The requirement of parents summed up in Ephesians 6:4 is simple yet profound: “Do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.” Children should not be driven to exasperation by parents who make demands that are so difficult to achieve that the children are prevented from succeeding. There’s a vast difference between breaking a child’s rebellious will and breaking his or her spirit.
As parents, our goal should be to channel the energy of our children, rather than destroy their creative and curious natures given by God that motivate them to discover their unique purposes. We are further admonished to bring up our children “in the training and instruction of the Lord.” By both example and exhortation, parents are to nourish their children. Most values are caught and then taught. Our children are more likely to imitate what they see us do than what they hear us say.
We live in a world where a meal can be microwaved in seconds, and an Internet message can be transmitted around the world almost instantly (another reason why it would be nice if they were fact-checked before hitting “Send.”) But part of the legacy we must leave is raising children who understand that some things can’t be rushed. Patience is a virtue as well as a pathway to victory. Things of great value take time.
If the thing to which you ascribe the greatest value in your life is your children, then don’t they deserve the greatest amount of time, nurturing and guidance you can possible give?
(Adapted from the book, “Rare, Medium or Done Well: Make the Most of your Life.” https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/168397302X )
Feel-Good/Huck's Hero Story of the Day (and we could really use one): Actor Gary Sinise and his Foundation, in partnership with American Airlines, just sent Gold Star Family children and their surviving parents on his annual “Snowball Express” flights to Disney World for a five-day, all-expenses-paid vacation. The Gary Sinise Foundation says that "the holidays can be especially challenging for grieving families," so they provide "a therapeutic retreat with a blend of fun and inspiring programs."
And they’ve provided it to a staggering number of military families: 1,000 children and 750 parents this year alone -- and it’s their 14th year! Sinise was inspired to start the program when he read of a letter written by a soldier to his wife, saying he wanted to take the family to Disney World when he got home – but he was killed in action and never made it home.
This is a reminder that there are still some patriotic good guys left in Hollywood. If you’d like to help Gary’s many efforts to entertain the troops and to help active duty military members, veterans, first responders and their families, visit https://www.garysinisefoundation.org/
And if you’d like to learn more about why Gary is such a tireless supporter of our military (he’s been called “the Bob Hope of our generation”) and why he’s so grateful to be an American, you can hear it in his own words in this terrific interview he gave us on “Huckabee” on TBN.
We are finishing the year 2019 and I’m glad. This has been a grueling year if you have to follow the news as I’m required to do as a TV commentator and publisher of a daily newsletter. I’m frankly sick of the never-ending serial attempts to overturn the election results of 2016. Remember when it was all about Russia and collusion? And then the Mueller report fizzled even though taxpayers spent about $35 million for a desperate effort to implicate President Trump. Then we heard obstruction of justice, until that “bombshell” became a dud; then it was quid pro quo, then extortion, then bribery, then obstruction of Congress. Frankly, given how recklessly irresponsible Congress is, obstructing it ought to be grounds for a prize, not an impeachment. But Democrats in Congress clearly are frantic because they have a weak field of candidates and they fear not one of them can defeat a President who has juiced the economy, jobs, the stock market and wages and who has pushed back against bad trade deals and America getting sucker-punched by foreign governments. We were once content to let the US pay the bills for NATO, trade deficits, and endless wars in the Middle East. Granted, President Trump isn’t always artful in what he says or how he says it, but he is disrupting the deep state of globalism, institutionalism, and bureaucracy. And the powers of government, media, and big business is fighting back—not to protect your interest, but theirs.
So next year is 2020, and I’ll attempt to give you 2020 vision into what we can expect for the coming year, which of course will be a Presidential election year.
I predict that Joe Biden will slightly edge socialist Bernie Sanders and will be the nominee for the Democrats-not because he’s a good candidate but because he will be viewed as not as crazy as the others. The media will ignore his daily verbal gaffes and he will be presented as a seasoned and ready captain, even though Bob Gates who served President Obama and President Bush 43 as a cabinet member said of Joe Biden, “He’s consistent in that every single position he’s taken on foreign policy is wrong.”
I predict that Democrats will pay a heavy price for having wasted a year of do-nothingness and millions of taxpayer dollars chasing down a reason to impeach President Trump. They constantly use the phrase they can “walk and chew gum at the same time,” but they tend to drop their gum on the ground and then get their shoes stuck on it. Voters in their districts have been benefited far more by the economic policies of President Trump than by the phony and hateful efforts by the Democrats to impeach him.
In other areas, I predict that Tom Brady will announce his retirement from the NFL—effective in the year 2045, and that the World Series will feature the St. Louis Cardinals and the Texas Rangers. Not because I have any reason to actually believe that, but they are my favorite teams in their respective National and American Leagues and I just want that to happen. The Oscars will be canceled because no one wants to hear whiny Hollywood actors lecture us on their worthless political views. CNN will lose so many viewers that it will cease operations as a News Channel and will become a television safe space where triggered liberal snowflakes can sit in a dark room and watch a blank screen, which will vastly improve the programming they currently offer. And finally, the Huckabee Show will win 6 Emmys and 10 Golden Globes for being the best show in television! And that would truly be 2020 vision!