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Loving the Fishbowl Life

What allowed our daughters to survive, even thrive, in a ministry home.

LaVon and I were in our mid-20s with a three-year-old and a newborn when the bishop sent us to start a new church on the south side of Kansas City. Today my wife and I are approaching our twenty-fifth wedding anniversary. Danielle is a sophomore in college and Rebecca is a junior in high school. And we've all survived … so far.

The girls survived my 80-hour weeks. They survived living in the fishbowl, feeling that eyes were constantly on them, occasionally not being invited to parties for fear their father would find out what was happening there. They survived my interviews of their dates and our refusal to let them get tattoos or die their hair blue even when all the other kids were doing it.

They survived requirements to attend worship and Sunday school, give away 10 percent of their allowance, and participate in mission projects. They survived periods of doubting their faith. And today these girls have become remarkable young women. They didn't just survive. Somehow, by the grace ...

From Issue:Fall 2006: God's Family
January/February
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