Lately, it’s been a season of firsts for my family, specifically, as it relates to my eldest daughter. Her first car. Her first job. Her first paycheck. Her first taste of taxes… and her first experience reconciling her checkbook. Just this last week, she was sitting at the kitchen table with her mom – one generation with another, passing on a very valuable life skill, reconciliation: the action of making one view or belief (in this case, what one believes is in a bank account) compatible with another (what is actually in that bank account).
It’s also been a season of some not-so-firsts. My eldest is entering her senior year of high school. In what feels like light speed, my first born is very quickly becoming an adult, not just in what she is, as a woman, but who she is, as a person. This process of “becoming” an adult has brought what also feels like all-to-frequent head-butting. That same kitchen table, with her mom, one generation with another, has featured many lively discussions and processing of differences of opinions on a variety of subjects and questions, including (but not limited to) “who’s house you’re living in”, “what wise use of your time looks like”, and “what will you do when you don’t have me to remind you?” As uncomfortable (and appropriate) as these moments have been, they’ve also brought the opportunity for the passing on of another very valuable life skill, and version of reconciliation: the restoration, and maintaining of, relationship.
As I consider the year ahead for my daughter, anticipating and dreading (depending on the day I’m having), and all that will be a part of her preparing to head out to pursue her education and play soccer in college, it feels like there is still so much we want to deposit in her before she steps out of our home. I see how critical of a role my wife (and I) play in passing on to her what she will need in her journey going forward. In this season of firsts and not-so-firsts, one thing has become very very clear. As practical and valuable as reconciling a checkbook is to her future, walking together in, and contending for, reconciliation in our relationship matters far far more… and makes passing on the practical stuff far far easier. When we move beyond the “as long as you are under my roof” and “my generation knows more” to truly seeking understanding, really listening, and genuinely processing, that’s when we reach our daughter’s heart. And when we do, we then get to reach her mind and hands.
As much as I hate it, my daughter really doesn’t care how much we know, until she knows how much we care. Come to think of it… isn’t that how all people, all generations feel?
Don’t miss the opportunity to join the conversation on generations and passing your faith on with Haydn Shaw, August 13th & 14th. Why? Because there’s too much on the line and we all play a part.