One of my sons just sold his multi-million dollar computer software start-up company, closing it just yesterday. The billion dollar private equity fund that bought it, purchased another similar company and is currently looking to acquire another or two. They have asked my son to stay on and be the CEO of the entire operation and the potential for it to grow into a mega company is significant. He retained a noteworthy amount of stock in the new entity and from all indications he will do very well again when it matures in 3-5 years and they sell it or conduct an IPO.
I’ve watched him work exceedingly hard to build this company. Over the past 3-4 years he’s called for advice about a discouragement or two, but by and large, he’s weathered the storm by utilizing his faith in God, and his own business acumen and wiles to fight through the obstacles of building a company from nothing into something.
He’s flown all night taking redeyes to get home in time to be with his wife and twin daughters to watch them compete in gymnastics, recitals, tennis, or school plays; he’s successfully dealt with the ever increasing demands of cash flow that start-ups always have; he’s dealt with personnel problems that occur in all businesses; he’s dealt with unreasonable customers; you name it. But through it all he’s remained undaunted and now it has handsomely paid off for him, (and me, I invested a little in it too).
So today I’m very proud of him, as I am of all of his brothers who have had their own tremendous business successes of late. I cannot thank God enough for blessing them. There is no doubt that they love Him and I view this portion of their character as the crown jewel of achievements that my wife and I enjoy as parents.
So what is the secret to raising happy, successful kids, who love the Lord and try to do the right thing?
My view is that they need love more than anything. My wife and I love our sons more than life itself, and they love us. Part of the way I define love is to teach them about Jesus Christ. When Sunday came around at our house there was never a question as to whether or not we were going to church; we were going to church, and everyone just got up on Sundays and got dressed. Worship and Bible study is our family foundation.
The Bible makes it clear that children cannot raise themselves and need guidance, and yes before you ask that included discipline when necessary. I still try to offer guidance to them and though they are totally tired of hearing my unsolicited advice as grown men, I will probably do so until I die. I do it because I love them and I want the very best for them.
Kids also need encouragement and not a barrage of criticism. I’ve tried to do this, but not as hard as I should have. Another thing is favoritism. I can honestly say that I did not favor any son over the other, but when they were going through discipline or a training episode they would have disagreed.
It all goes back to love. If one is objective and has actually read the Bible it is clear that our Lord loves us all of the time. He disciplines when necessary, encourages always, and like any loving parent He only wants the best for His children. The Bible is not a book of stringent rules written by mean old men. It is a love-inspired guide that leads us through a snare filled world and is designed to enable us to enjoy all the world and the one beyond despite our fallen nature. It is through God’s amazing grace that this became possible.
Enjoy Jesus and allow Him to enjoy you.
He wants to protect us, bless us, rejoice over us, love us, and even sing “loudly” for us to the extent that we will allow. Ask Him to draw close right now won’t you . . .
The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.
September 2, 2015 – Click here to listen