10 Things My Parents Did Right

Even the best of families has plenty of dirty laundry to air. Mine is no exception. We're a bunch of messy, crazy people who desperately need Jesus.

But our messes can highlight God's miracles . . . amen? My parents would be quick to admit that they've made their fair share of mistakes in life, in ministry, and in parenting. But their mess isn't the big story. God took two first-generation Christians who married at age twenty and twenty-two and jumped headlong into full-time ministry—and He wrought miracles.

This month my parents celebrate forty-one years of marriage, and I want to raise a toast to them online: Here's to a classy, godly, beautiful, faithful couple—a top 10 list of things they did right.

  1. They didn't parent us according to a man-made methodology or manual.
    They sought God's heart and wisdom and leading, and parented by faith and obedience to God's Word.
  2. They prayed for us, and prayed for us . . . and kept on praying.
    I woke many nights to find my mom kneeling beside my bed, interceding for me. My dad occasionally even wept in prayer over me. Their prayers are the bedrock of my faith.
  3. They explained to us why they had certain rules, expectations, consequences, and rewards for us.
    This helped me to think for myself and to love their correction and guidance.
  4. They laughed a lot.
    They passed along to us an incurable sense of humor.
  5. They made us work.
    Hallelujah, they made us work!
  6. They exposed us to the beautiful diversity of the Christian faith.
    They told us that even if a brother or sister in Christ held to a very different theological persuasion than we did, there was always something we could learn from them. They didn't wave a denominational banner or follow one particular Christian leader. They wanted us to value the unity of the Body and to agree on the gospel.
  7. They taught us to live simply.
    We learned to value hand-me-downs and thrift stores, to find the best bargains, to give to the Lord a tenth of our allowances, and to be content with what we had.
  8. They lived by faith.
    By tenacious, long-suffering, hope-filled faith. They faced so many challenges and heartaches in their ministry, but God was always so much bigger than their problems. It was faith from first to last.
  9. They made us read Christian biographies.
    These stories and examples forever changed my life.
  10. They lived what they preached.
    They fleshed out their faith in our home, day-in and day-out. I saw the authenticity of Jesus in my parents. They loved Him. They obeyed and served Him. They pointed us to Him. And I am forever grateful.

These are just a few of the many ways I count myself blessed by my parents. I know every family is different, fleshing out their faith in unique ways. May your hearts be encouraged in your own parenting, or as you encourage those parents around you.

How can you encourage the parents around you?

About the Author

Colleen Chao

Colleen Chao

Colleen Chao is an editor and the author of In the Hands of a Fiercely Tender God. When she's not wrangling words, she enjoys the beautiful outdoors, side-splitting laughter, and half-read books piled bedside. She makes her home just outside … read more …


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