I used to have all the answers. The older I get, the less I know.
We rarely talked well of him, but some twenty years later, he’s the one still in the game … and the proof, as they say, is in the pudding.
My oldest sister, the third of us four, had many learning disabilities. Over time she became very calm and quiet, and her gentle heart more visible. She married this guy none of us liked. He was just a mess … out of a divorce (with no kids) … from screwed up parents … and a theology that is, well, lacking – oh, and he went into the ministry as a pastor making his distorted theology even more prominent. They had their first son within a couple of years – absolutely adorable kid. Then two more – another boy, and a girl. First Son graduated from High School in May, and he’s now backpacking in Ireland.
The family recently moved so my sister could care for her elderly, needy, MIL. It’s been three months and her husband still has not found a job despite applying everywhere. When my awesome nephew was planning his backpacking adventure, his dad did two things. First, he went hiking with a backpack on with his son daily so his son could get conditioned for his trip. Second, he sat his son down and went over his finances (he had worked and saved his own money for this trip). Dad basically told his son that with this much money he could only do this much, then he needed to come back home, get a job, and face the reality of life. Dad told son to grow up.
So, the dufus my sister married, or the guy we all thought was a dufus, turned out to be the most faithful spouse of all four of our spouses, turned out to be the best parent/dad of all four of our spouses, and spends more time with his kids that the other four.
And his kids? Grounded in the Bible. Grounded in the love of their parents. Secure. Level-headed. Thinking. Directed. My awesome nephew heeded his father’s wisdom. Rather than an open-ended trip, he bought a return ticket, and he’s making plans to come back home and find a job and decide what to do next. He’s freakin brilliant, so it’ll be interesting to see where God leads him. I’m proud of what he’s done, what he’s doing, who he is. And … I’m proud of his mom and dad. They’ve done a great job.
We don’t have to be perfect. We have to be willing.