Riddle me this: What are two of the most powerful parenting tools ever?

Answer? Read on.

One day I walked in the front door of my house. It was just that simple.

I returned home on a Friday night after three days of training and six days of mission work in an impoverished region. Saturday afternoon, my boys and I ate lunch out and made a quick stop at the mall. Towering above every car in the parking lot was a tricked-out monster truck. We were captivated by the massive tires, the sweet rims, and the stellar paint job. Amidst the “WOWS” the “LOOK AT THAT” and the “HOLY SMOKES,” Elias leaned over and quietly whispered in my ear, “You came back.” He immediately went back to drooling over the truck. In just three simple words, he wrapped up an entire lifetime.

My wife and I have eight children, seven of whom come from “Secondary Adoption.” A secondary adoption is when the first adoptive parents of a child have a heartbreaking change of mind and place the child up for adoption a “second” time.

So at the time our children came to us, all of the guardians in their life had basically “walked away” and didn’t come back. One can only imagine the depth to which that cuts. Three words from Elias, “You came back,” gave a clue.

What are two of the most powerful parenting tools ever? You have probably guessed the first.

#1: COME HOME

Sometimes a parent willfully chooses not to come home. The basis for such a tragic decision might be substance abuse, infidelity, suicide, or a neglected marriage. Their struggle is real. Their choice is extremely difficult, and … it is still a choice.

#2: Relentlessly PURSUE every resource available to make sure you come home

Invest in your marriage, have a mentor, seek counseling. Make the choice for family.

TACK-F exists for First Responder and Military marriages. Military One Source is available for the latter.

The most powerful parenting tool you have is waiting at your front door, literally. Give your children the gift of a parent who sweats through the struggle, perseveres the valley, stands in the gap, and still chooses to come back.