That Parent

Rev. Lawrence Richardson


I am that parent who:

• refers to my kids (nephews) as young leaders 

• prays with them often

• models for them the importance of living a life of discipline, focus, intentionality, grateful awareness and self-control

• is on the phone with and in the inboxes and offices of the school board, teachers, administration, community leaders, and state representatives, when necessary

• is in the classroom and at school and community events regularly

• is dedicated to learning the best approaches to meeting the epistemological shifts happening in our world

• will always ask them if they want me to kiss their bruises when they fall down or hurt themselves

• will give them the world—even if it means my own life

• works to give them the life and childhood I didn’t have 

• greets them each day with a smile from my soul, and compliments, so that they know they are the twinkle in my eye

• is honest with them about my short-comings and failings

• will never discipline them without first telling them positive things about their behavior

• makes sure they know that we are separate from the things we do and not defined by the opinions of others

• prayed for them when they were first born, and dedicated their souls and lives to God

• still cries when I put my ear to their chests and hear their heartbeats

• will move heaven and earth to right the wrongs in this world so that they never know or perpetuate things like poverty, systemic inequity, or gender bias

• apologizes when I’m wrong or make a mistake so that they know to do the same

• celebrates all their accomplishments big and small, reminding them that they are fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of Almighty God

• talks to them like they are co-creators of our shared life and experiences

• seeks better ways to hear what life is like from their perspective so that I remain humble

• will get it wrong sometimes

• prays for them every day

• prays with them every day

• tells them stories from my challenging and difficult upbringing so that they know the source of my joy as well as the source of my strength

• knows that just because they are extensions of me, that I have no ownership of or control over what they become in life

• will launch them into life with everything I’ve got because I love them unconditionally.


I am that parent who knows that when I take my last breath, I will have given everything to them that God has given to me, because my nephews are my legacy.






 Lawrence Richardson is the Associate Pastor of Linden Hills United Church of Christ.

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Comments: 1
  • #1

    Eliot Howard (Thursday, 11 May 2017 09:27)

    This is a tremendous witness to gracious, loving and powerful parenting. This is an equally powerful witness to how we should all engage all children, and in many ways, all humans we encounter.