Wisdom, Banana Splits, and My Cute Parents

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We enjoyed 1991 with big smiles and noteworthy bangs.

Teachable moments.
Character building exercises. 
Family meetings and studying Proverbs. 
Heart-to-hearts over big bowls of cereal. 
Constant heart checks and hard questions. 
Laughter, tears, discipline, and mercy. 
Dinner conversation and studying Philippians.
More love and grace than I could deserve in 10,000 lifetimes. 

That’s what my childhood was made of. 

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Their 39-year marriage has taught me that “wedded bliss” comes with a price tag. Marriage is not a glamorous, dazzling fantasy, but a real, raw, and holy union of two sinners looking to a perfect Savior for the grace to love as He does.

My extraordinary parents, Stan and Cindy McDonald, have lived the Gospel in front of my older sister and me our entire lives.

They have exemplified shepherding their children’s hearts, and their walk with God gave them firm convictions to raise us in a way that did not allow culture to disciple us.

“[We saw parenting] as a gift from God,” Mom said. “If we were going to raise children, we wanted to raise them for God’s glory—with lots and lots and lots of prayer—and to be on the same page as much as possible.”

Our home has been open for strangers and sojourners, so it’s not odd for me to come home and find my parents in prayer or praying with others. They freely give counsel, laughter, safety, food, and Gospel dinners to anyone they encounter and teach others to do the same.

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My mom and sister are so sweet and precious. 

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Then there’s my dad and me and we play with our food.

They have instilled in us that discipleship starts first and foremost in the home and that it’s the father’s job to lead and love his family into the deepest recesses of Christ’s heart.

“There’s no ABC to parenting,” Dad said. “It’s God leading the parent to be a parent and it’s seeing God as a parent. We’re getting information from Him and He’s showing us as our Father how much He loves us and how He deals with us, so then we’re able to incorporate that in how we deal with you all. I think that might be the simplest way to sum that up.”

They aren’t perfect parents (there’s no such thing) but they are excellent ones.

They have taught us to repent quickly, to run to the Gospel for everything, and to find Christ’s comfort outside our comfort zones. They have patiently walked with us through rebellion, Pharisaical tendencies, and broken hearts, pushing us to the True and Better Parent at every turn.

And through it all they’ve extended themselves to others, not hoarding but sharing what God has taught them and, like the explosive power of the Gospel combined with one of my dad’s giant banana splits, it’s a glorious thing to behold.

I hope you enjoy getting to know them and find their wisdom beneficial in the following Q+A.

For their Q+A (and banana split photos) and for more resources like this,
get your free copy of RTM Magazine on iPhoneiPadAndroid, or on the web.

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