What the Titanic Taught Me About Parenting
April 15, 2012 marks the 100th Anniversary of the Titanic Disaster. I recently had the opportunity to write a novel set on the Titanic, and as I wrote I couldn’t help but think about my family being on that ship—my husband and kids especially. I tried to picture climbing into a lifeboat with my daughters and seeing my husband and grown sons standing on the decks. Heartbreaking! Of course, that would have only happened if I was one of the lucky ones. Many mothers had to turn over their children into the arms of strangers. Others stood on the decks, knowing that their own family would soon meet their Maker.
The Titanic disaster was a tragedy that happened 100-years-ago, but we can apply its lessons to our lives today. Here are a few that settled in my heart:
- You can’t guarantee tomorrow. We all know this, but we forget. We live as if we will have tomorrow, and the next day, and the next to focus on what’s really important.
- Know where you put your faith. The Titanic was touted as an “unsinkable ship,” and the passengers had no reason to doubt that claim. It was an engineering wonder, and not one detail was overlooked in its design. It was like a floating hotel or city, and it was easy to put faith in the ingenuity of man. Men can do wonderful things, indeed, but our complete faith must be in God alone.
- Live every day as if it were the last. Enjoy your family, express your love, focus on what’s important. Even the most wonderful celebrations can turn to heartache when we least expect it.
- Don’t wait to explain what a relationship with Christ is all about. Children learn about a relationship with Jesus Christ by what they see in our lives, but they also learn by what they hear from our mouths. You can begin training your children even when they are small by reading them Bible stories, explaining about sin and sharing God’s great plan to save the world through the death and resurrection of His Son. Not only will children know the truth and be able to choose to accept Jesus Christ for themselves, they also can share the good news with others in need.
- Do the right thing no matter what others think. When the first passengers got into the lifeboats others on the decks made fun of them. Some thought they were foolish for risking their lives by going down into the cold dark water. Those who climbed into the lifeboats had to turn their back on what others believed, and instead focus on what they felt was right. There are times as parents when we must do the same. If we make a choice to work for a ministry, to adopt another child, to homeschool, or make another hard decision, there may be others who think we are making a foolish mistake. Each of us must follow the direction of God—the Captain of our lives—to direct us. He is with us during the journey, and unlike any human captain God knows what’s ahead and what is best for our families…our lives.