by Ward Williams
Growing up, my favorite television show was MASH. I have seen every episode multiple times. In high school, my nightly routine was watching ABC, followed by MASH and then bed. I often wondered what it would be like to be a soldier and if I would be tough enough to handle war.
Recently while I was alone with control of the remote, I encountered a MASH marathon and found myself watching multiple episodes. As an adult with teenage boys, I watched MASH with a new frame of reference from my teenage years. I was amazed that the same show could teach different lessons when viewed through a different perspective and life experiences. In life and parenting, there is wisdom in receiving different viewpoints, counsel, and outlooks when navigating different challenges.
I have benefitted from countless adults, coaches, church friends, and family who shared their perspectives and life experiences with me. I had a strong premonition of what marriage and parenting would be like when I was 20. I have learned a lot about marriage and parenting in the last 25 years and have found that some of my ideas were accurate, some changed over time, and some were completely wrong.
One of the common mistakes parents make is teaching their kids wrong lessons at the wrong time. We want to teach our kids to be tough and get up on their own when at the time they need a hand up; we are lenient when we need to be strict; or we punish when we should show mercy.
I encourage you as a father to surround your children and family with as many healthy experiences as possible and to continually seek wisdom. I have prayed that my kids never know the deep hurt of evil and that they are protected from those who would harm them. I’m thankful for the advice, wisdom, and encouragement I have received as a parent. I’m grateful that God teaches me and works in my life, and I’m hopeful my kids will benefit from my new perspectives.