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Theme of the Week: Parental Affirmative Action
Sunday, August 13, 2006

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Who Said It…Robert Wolgemuth

Robert Wolgemuth is a 25-year book publishing veteran, and an author. His latest book, The Most Important Place on Earth, is about the home. In their own home, he and his wife, Bobbie, have raised two daughters, now married. One lesson he learned: "When one of your children tries to please you with an independent act of service, praise him or her for honest effort; don't point out how he could have done a better job … at least not right away."

What He Said…Clip Art

Once, when I was out of town on a business trip, my daughter Julie, who was probably 13 at the time, tried to surprise me by mowing the lawn. As I pulled my car into the driveway, the crooked lines and clumps of mown grass told me that a teenager had wreaked havoc on my lawn's usually perfect appearance.

I stepped into the house and called for Julie. She wasn't home. So I put on my work clothes and went outside to "fix" my lawn. What I didn't know was that Julie was directly across the street, babysitting for the neighbor kids. When she heard the mower, she looked out and saw me remowing our yard. She walked across the street with tears streaming down her face.

In a moment when my heart should have been filled first with sheer gratitude, my critical spirit—and the perfectionist hiding deep inside—leaked through.

Shame on me for missing a chance to celebrate!

Adapted from The Most Important Place on Earth (Nelson, 2004) by permission.

Prayer for the Week
Lord, the pressures of raising a family can make me come across as a policeman more than a loving parent. Please help me to communicate the love I feel.

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