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November 13, 2016

Grownup Questions

“Most of us become parents long before we stop being children.”
(Lionel Kauffman)

In our family, this statement couldn’t be more true. Jenny and I were practically babies ourselves when we got married, and I shudder to think how naïve we were when our daughter Hannah came into the world. (In fact, I remember looking at the nurse like she was crazy when she told us we were discharged and could take our baby home. Now, we’re packing to go visit that “baby” in Europe, where she’s been doing this whole semester abroad, and doing just fine traveling all around without us.)

Regardless of when you choose to commit your life to another, or bring another life into the world, nothing asks you to grow up, over and over again, like being married, and being a parent. Suddenly the whole world looks different, and it’s easy to think you’re supposed to have all the right answers. But that mentality is actually the mark of a child. Being a grownup doesn’t mean you have the right answers. Quite the opposite, in fact. It means you’re learning to ask better and better questions.

Questions like these, for marriage:
–How can I truly listen to my spouse today?
–How have I been contributing to the very communication problems I’m complaining about?
—If my spouse could change one habit of mine, what would it be? Would I be willing to change it? Why or why not?

And these, for parenting:
—How much time have I planned to be with each of my kids this week? Is that enough? Too much?
—What is my child going through with her friends right now, and how can I be better understanding?
—When should I protect my child from life’s dangers, and expose him to life’s lessons?

What are some marriage/parenting questions you’ve learned to ask yourself?

Peace begins with pause,

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