When I became a parent, back in 2015, life changed permanently in a way that I never expected. I had been “preparing” for quite a while in my life. When we found that my wife was pregnant, I began reading articles and books I could get my hands on. I’ve been listening to the stories and advice from adults who are parents for the entirety of my life. My bachelor’s degree is in Youth and FAMILY studies (how much more prepared can you get than that?). And yet, it wasn’t enough.
I wasn’t until I became a parent myself that I truly started to understand parenthood and the journey it is. What’s ironic is that I have heard that exact sentence said so many times by other adults and yet I wouldn’t come to fully realize the depth of it all until it happened to me.
Why mention all that? Well, as Youth and Young Adult Director here at All Souls, I occupy a unique and niche place in the lives of the kids who come through our church doors or attend our church gatherings (that is, if they’ll let me). With that unique position comes certain promises made to our church, to myself, and to our God. Parents reading this, those promises extend to you too and I want you to know what they are.
I promise to be on your side. Parenting is hard and we need all the help we can get. I’m here to help however I can.
I promise to not parent you. We are on similar journeys as parents, but my kids aren’t teenagers yet. I don’t personally know that world yet and I won’t act like I do.
I promise to listen. Kids like to talk and I know there are at least 2 sides to every story. I know you aren’t always the bad guy they will make you out to be.
I promise to honor you. You have been in your kids lives’ for much longer than I have and that will never change. That deserves continual recognition.
I promise to care for your kids. I will strive to be a safe haven where under my watch they will continue to grow emotionally, socially, psychologically, and most importantly spiritually.
Parents, I hope and pray you know you have me as an ally, for the adventure of training up a child in the way he should go (Prov. 22:6)
Youth and Young Adult Director