Letters to My Children: Chiefly About Life

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7OynlzqtxmY[/youtube] Ten Things I Want to Impress Upon My Children by Stephen W. SmithIt's called imprinting.  If you take a moment and watch the 40 second video, you'll see a man who has imprinted on the brain for four baby geese that he is the new Mother Goose--and that he should be followed, mimicked and imitated.This is what I'm realizing now in being a grandparent. I became the sort of male Goose for my four sons. They mimicked what they saw me do. My actions, right and wrong deeply imprinted their souls. As a counselor, I can trace how a person handles conflict by asking about how they saw conflict expressed in the home. You can do the same with love's beginnings by asking, ' How did you experience love from your parents?'  Some imprinting is good; some is necessary and some is in need of redemption.I confess that I did not do everything right as a father. In the early years, I was obsessed with my work. I worked way too many hours helping many other people and at times feel like I gave the left-overs to my wife and children. Call it Absentee Imprinting. Thanks be to God--I was able to see my wicked ways and make life altering choices. I became a father who was engaged-- a dad who cared--an involved male role model speaking into the impressionable souls of my four boys.photo-1427243713560-583403bf9987 Imprinting is the very serious work of spiritual formation. Here are some things I find myself thinking about ---wishing--hoping and longing--to imprint before I leave the planet:1) Now I want to imprint that tenderness is more powerful than strength.2) I want to imprint that love is the only power that really transforms--not obedience.3) I want to imprint that no job is ever worth becoming an absentee dad--no job.4) I want to imprint that being a great husband will be make you become the greatest of dads.5) I want to imprint that delighting in your child will become your greatest gift you can ever give to your sons and daughters.6) I want to imprint that you need to figure out how you need to delight in your children and be about that work more than the vocation you are involved with right now.7) I want to imprint that the souls of your young children are very, very impressionable and don't ever think they are not watching, mimicking and modeling.8)I want to imprint that before you yell at your children, walk away and get a grip on your own unresolved issues that are causing you to become so angry.9)I want to imprint on my own sons that their greatest model of how to father is learning from the God of Jesus Christ.10) I want to imprint on my sons and daughters in love to be careful about being overly committed to technology because no iPhone, internet dialogue or on-line shopping will ever replace the sacred moments you could be watching your child instead of watching the computer screen.Questions to Consider:1 What three things would you like to imprint into your children's minds so that they will NEVER, EVER forget?2.As you reflect on your on spiritual formation, what three things do you feel your own parents or guardians invested in you that you will take to the grave?3. How do your values differ from the world's values of what is important to leave behind? Author's Note: I'd really like to hear from you about your thoughts on this concept and title as it may morph into a book of some form with many of these ideas fleshed out. So please--I invite the feedback and leaving comments. I will help me determine the viability. Thanks so much)