Themes Covered:  

Family’s not in the way. They are the way.

If the writers of the beloved Wonder Years television series were right – that growing up happens in a heartbeat, that one day you’re in diapers and the next day you’re gone – then the parenting season is equally brief, poignant, and profound.

I couldn’t help but think of my and Jean’s wonderful journey raising our sons, Trent and Troy, recently. We were up in the Colorado mountains for a ministry retreat. One of the evenings, we were treated to a sneak peek of a tremendously powerful movie: UNSUNG HERO – a For King and Country film releasing April 26 that chronicles the true story of the Smallbone family, the music powerhouse clan.

Even if you’re not familiar with the name “Smallbone,” you’ve undoubtedly heard of Christian recording star Rebecca St. James. Her brothers, Joel and Luke Smallbone, are the Christian pop duo known as For King and Country.

Without giving the storyline away, the movie should convict any mother or father who feels as though their children are somehow holding them back from pursuing their dreams.

As a pivotal character observes in the film: “Family’s not in the way. They are the Way.”

As the father of two boys, the movies gave rise to a number of thoughts and emotions. How great it’s been to be a dad to sons. There aren’t enough words to adequately capture my gratitude for the privilege of joining Jean in the task of raising Trent and Troy.

Our boys are now men, and we remain super close and enjoy lots of time together, but I hope they know they never got in the way of our lives. They were the way – and we wouldn’t trade the time for anything.

In fact, I miss coming home and being greeted at the door by two rambunctious little boys. We would inevitably wrestle and play and laugh. Was often the very best part of my day. In fact, it was often the most substantive, too.

The memories of that happy laughter and that innocent era echo in my mind.

I look back with a sense of peace and joy. The house is tidier these days. I don’t have to get out of my car to move a tricycle or bicycle to avoid running over it. But there are nights when I wish I did.

Some of the things I remember are memories that confirm the sentiment that family is the path – not an impediment.

Hearing their first cries and holding Trent and Troy tight, scared to death that I would drop them, but knowing I never would . . . Late-night drives around a dark neighborhood to soothe a colicky baby.

There were their first steps, first words and last-minute, midnight toy assembly jobs on Christmas Eve. There was the pain of leaving on long ministry trips to faraway places, and the joy of reunions at airports. There were vacations on a tight budget—cold and wet tents, cars and trailers that wouldn’t run and kids that won’t stop.

Only you can answer this question of priority for yourself. But if you want to have the best chance at a happy and healthy home life – for you and your kids – you’re wise to make sure that you and your spouse make the other a priority.

Yet here’s the paradox:

If you become consumed with worrying about being your spouse’s priority, you’re going to make yourself miserable. Don’t keep score. Embrace a spirit of blessed self-forgetfulness. Instead of worrying about what you’re going to get, spend your time actively loving your spouse and children – and give it everything you’ve got!

Jim Daly is president of Focus on the Family.

The Smallbones have declared Unsung Hero‘s opening day as Family Day – and we’re calling it Focus on the Family Day with their permission and encouragement. You can join us by getting your tickets here and heading out to a theater near you with your family – who are not in the way but are the way! 

About the Author

Read More About:

You May Also Like

Dad hugging his daughter
Decision Making

Be the Dad

Do you confront your kids when they’re not thinking clearly? Sometimes they will need you to intervene and help them deal with issues.