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      Nurturing people in the image of God since 1868.                                                                          POB 397/520 Dry Creek Rd./Smithville, TN

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If I Were Starting My Family Over Again

If I were Starting My Family Over Again is the mind-grabbing title of a book written by John Drescher, a father of five. A provoking thought, isn't it. As I look around at all the young families we have here at Smithville, I can't help but think of this book. What would you do differently if you were starting your family again? If your children were young again, what would you do? Drescher offers several insights that I think are quite important in family life. Please reflect on them:

(1) 1 would love my wife more. With three children who keep us on the run with busy schedules, I know what Drescher is talking about. In the closeness of family life, it is easy to take each other for granted, and let a dullness creep in that can dampen the deepest love. Drescher contends that a child who knows his parents love each other needs little explanation about the character of God's love or the beauty of sex; the love of father and mother flows visibly to him and prepares him to recognize real love in all future relationships.

(2) 1 would develop feelings of belonging. Each child needs to sense that he belongs in the family. And when a child feels he belongs to the family, he has a stability which can stand against anything.

(3) 1 would laugh more with my children. Enough said! Those happy experiences open the door for so many other things the family can do together.

(4) 1 would be a better listener. James Dobson says the average father only spends 37 seconds a day communicating with his children. We need to be better listeners. No doubt there is a vital link between listening to the child's concerns when he is young and the extent to which he will share his concerns when he is in his teens.

(5) 1 would do more encouraging. Persist in daily praise!!

(6) 1 would seek to share God more intimately. We are spiritual beings, and if the world is to know God and His will, parents must be the primary conveyors. I like what Drescher says: "If I were starting my family again, that is what I would want to be above all else - God's love with skin on!"

For His Cause,
Tim Woodward