Do You Have Parental Nearsightedness?
Growing up, I dreamed of becoming an ophthalmologist (eye surgeon). My uncle Virgil was a well-respected ophthalmologist and an even more respected man. I can only imagine how many eye exams he performed during his career and how many lives he touched by improving their gift of sight!
Many of us would list the gift of sight at the top of our five senses. And that is where I want to focus on today. (No pun intended!)
You see, only about half of us have 20/20 vision, or vision that doesn’t require glasses, contact lenses, or LASIK surgery. The rest of us need a prescription to correct our vision. About 40% of us are nearsighted, 30% have astigmatism, 4% are farsighted, and the rest of us have some other refractive issue.
My whole family wears glasses! All of our family photos feature four pairs of stylish and expensive eyewear. Yes, we max out and spend more than the allotted amount on our vision plan every year. We all have different colors and styles of frames. Jen has black and pink plastic frames. Lincoln wears black frames and Hannah’s glasses are purple, allowing her to show a bit of flair. My glasses have a titanium temple and a half-rimless frame. However, we all have one trait in common; we are all nearsighted.
You might be wondering where I am going with this. Well, I believe many of us are in need of a Parenting Vision Exam. You see, I would venture to say that almost all of us are nearsighted when it comes to parenting!
Let me say that again—almost all of us are nearsighted when it comes to parenting. Do you agree with me?
Well, let’s do a quick Parental Vision Exam. Ready?
- Have you ever considered how your grandparents’ and great grandparents’ parenting styles, values, and work ethic have affected you?
- Do you often find yourself feeling so “busy” with all of your family’s activities that you have little time to plan for your family’s future?
- Do you ever think about how your parenting style will affect your children and grandchildren? How about your great grandchildren and beyond?
Well, if you answered “No” to number 1 and “Yes” to numbers 2 and 3 (like I did), you might have what I have termed Parental Nearsightedness.
Don’t worry, most of us do. Our culture commands it. But before I define the diagnosis and treatment, I want to tell you a story about John and Max.
John’s passion was his family. John and his wife had 11 children. They loved to spend time with their kids; reading, playing, and studying. In fact, despite his busy schedule as a pastor, John committed to spending at least one hour per day with his kids! As parents, they stressed the importance of self-discipline, physical fitness, and kindness and respect to others.
Max, by contrast, struggled with the law and with alcohol. Max and his wife also had several children. As you can imagine, Max’s struggles most likely made him miss out on some of his responsibilities as a parent.
Jonathan Edwards and Max Jukes were both born in the 1700s. You may have heard their story before, but it’s definitely worth repeating. Their lives and the lives of their descendants have been studied and exemplify my point.
Check this out. Jonathan’s lineage of over 1300 descendants includes, but is not limited to, 60 doctors, 100 pastors, 100 lawyers, 65 college professors, 3 U.S. Senators, and a vice president.
In contrast, Max’s legacy consisted of 150 criminals, 190 prostitutes, and 7 murderers, while 310 died destitute!
Parental Nearsightedness is the inability to “see” beyond ourselves and our children.
With a diagnosis of Parental Nearsightedness, parenting beyond our children becomes blurry or short sighted.
Instead of being a nearsighted parent, I challenge you to become a farsighted parent.
Parental Farsightedness is the ability to not only intentionally parent our children, but to be able to “see” how our parenting affects our future generations.
In effect, Parental Farsightedness focuses on our family tree.
So, what’s the prescription for those of us who have self-diagnosed ourselves with Parental Nearsightedness?
- “Peek” into your grand- and great-grandchildren’s futures by planting seeds of wisdom in your own children.
- Plan your generational legacy by intentionally parenting for the future of your family name.
- Pray for your children’s future, their future spouse, and for their salvation and eternal life.
By following the three P’s, you will begin to transition your Parental Nearsightedness into Parental Farsightedness. By changing your Parental Prescription, you will parent with more intentionality, engagement, and compassion.
So, are you ready to update your parental prescription? If you do, you will impact many generations to come!
I want to leave you with this Bible verse from Exodus 20:6:
But I lavish unfailing love for a thousand generations on those who love me and obey my commands. (NLT)
Before I leave, I wanted to give you a sneak “Peek” into what I will be focusing on next week. I will be helping you to take a “Peek” into your family legacy.
Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
I’m Mark LaMaster, and my mission through Uplifting Dads is to offer a place of encouragement and inspiration for men to become the father they’ve always dreamed of being. I believe that all dads have an incredible, God-given opportunity to make a lasting, positive impact on their children, their families, and their earthly homes.