February 1, 2012

10 things I want to teach my children

"Some of the kids I want to teach these things to."

So I want to start putting together some lists.  And for my first list in no particular order here are 10 things I want to teach my children.

To love God. I know that this is cliche, but more than telling my kids this I hope to model it to them.

After God - put family before everything else - including ministry.  All to often people confuse serving God for being everything we do 'outside' of our home.  Not so.  Serving God starts with those He's put in our family and we don't want to ever miss that. 

To be generous with their time, money, possessions and abilities.  If you want to find your life, you need to give it away.  If you live for yourself you will die alone.  True love is others centered, not self-centered.

To be grateful.  Sometimes our biggest struggles simply come from having the wrong perspective.  Being grateful is one way of correcting that perspective.

Your character matters.  Do the right thing, even if it hurts.

That they are loved unconditionally, not because they are good kids or do the right thing.  I need to be careful when I praise my children for doing the right thing.  Not because it's wrong to say "good job" to a job well done.  But because I never want my kids to feel like they are earning my love.  Heather and I love them.  period.

That life is full of doing things that we don’t want to do, but we still need to do them.  I've had this drilled into me from a young age and I'm glad I did.  Now I want to drill it into my kids.

That they can do whatever they set their mind and heart to.  I want my kids to be confident and secure in their abilities and gifts.

To not let fear dictate their decisions  It's difficult to make decisions in life.  Their are many things pulling us in many different ways.  When I've made life decisions based on faith, I've been grateful afterwards.  Don't let fear stop you from doing something great with your life.

The world needs heroes.  Be one.

This is my list, what is one thing (or ten) you want to teach your children?  Or what is your favorite one on this list?  Click on comments at the bottom of this post to join the conversation.

Much love,
Matt, Heather, Sydney, Lily, Aubrey, Ellie, Sammie and little Caleb


  1. Anonymous1.2.12

    Those were awesome Matt! I just might steal the list. I love lists! I want to add to the one about doing things even when they don't want to. I always tell my kids that even though we don't want to do something we still do it without complaining and being negative. Basically with a happy heart! Keep up the good work you guys are doing! Cindy

    1. Feel free to steal it Cindy. I'm really glad you liked the list. I tell my daughter often "Life is full of doing things you don't want to do." I heard it enough as a kid and realize it to be true. Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Great list, brother! The basics are often the hardest ones to do. It's easy to get caught up in all the little details but in the end, it's the broad picture that seems to matter most when it comes to raising successful/loved children, don't you think? Your list was a great reminder of this. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Yeah the basics are the hardest ones to do, but they are also the ones we are teaching everyday with our actions. Thanks bro!

  3. Anonymous2.2.12

    I was browsing through family blogs and came across yours . . .wow. I simply wanted to let you know that what you do matters, what you teach your kids will remain with them always . . .You've left a footprint in my mind and I look forward to seeing your journey continue. May you be blessed for a very long time. XOXO, hugs from Paris - France. The Wren Family

    1. I woke up to this comment and it really blessed me. Thank you for your kind encouragement. I'm glad you were able to find our blog! Have a wonderful day and know that your words meant a lot to me! Matt

  4. The whole list is terrific. I couldn't agree more with all of them! My favorite is the gratitude. We have been emphasizing that with Addison. On a more personal note, I didn't learn that lesson until a few years ago. Even when an outcome isn't what we want usually there's a valuable lesson to be gleaned to be grateful for. Keep up the great work!

    1. Dude, Erick so good to hear from you! Thanks so much for the encouragement. I agree the simple choice to be grateful and to foster that perspective can help us so much. I hope the best for you and yours brother. Peace brother! -Matt