Jul25

One Question Every Parent Should Ask Themselves

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We teach our kids about wisdom. But let’s be honest.

How do you make wise choices?

Let’s face it.

We’re all rookie parents when we bring home our first child.

We have to figure out each age and stage as they come along—from scratch.

If kids were cookie cutter similar, we could crack the parenting code by kid number three. But for some inexplicable reason, God made them all a little different, confusing most parents permanently.

If you’re like me, wisdom is always most clear in hindsight.

Ask me now, and I can tell you what we should have done with our five-year old who wouldn’t eat grown up food.

The problem is he’s twenty-one now and married. That kind of wisdom doesn’t help me one bit today. I needed it when he was five.

So how do you make wise decisions?

For sure, you should. . .

Read books and blogs.

Have some wise counsel in your life from trusted family members and friends.

Pray a lot.

But recently, I’ve stumbled on a question that has given me clarity in decision making across the board, and it’s helped me so much at home.

It’s a fairly simple question but it really helps drive me to better decisions in the moment.

Five years from now, what will I wish I had done?

I can be more confused than a hipster lost in a jungle without a fixie bike or indie music on his phone and be genuinely torn about what decision to make.

But when I ask the question, “Five years from now, what will I wish I had done?”  I get clarity. Not every single time. But almost every single time.

I know I will have wished I had . . .

made more time for relationship.

had the tough conversation.

honored the limits we put in place.

spoken with more grace.

fought for my marriage.

controlled my temper.

kept my heart open wide.

not stopped loving.

made him finish his vegetables (I’m pretty sure about that one now…).

Wisdom comes with experience. And in some strange way, if you can get a glimpse of yourself five years from now you will know—instinctively—what you wish you had done in the very moment you’re in now.

So. . .

Five years from now, what will you wish you had done?

Once you know that. . . Just go do it.