On Thursday evening July 14, I sat in a local church listening to the heart of a missionary couple. This couple, William and Larisa, called to the Middle East, does grass roots ministry with the flexibility and nimbleness of a four year old on a jungle gym.
And they have eight children in tow! Yes, eight!
During the question and answer period, Larisa shared about her greatest passion—seeing her children walk in their family values by following Christ through adulthood.
Then she explained. Frequently, while doing deputation work, her family stays in the homes of church members along the way. In one home after another, she hears the stories from these Christian couples about how one, two or three of their children walked away from the faith. Larisa seemed puzzled by how this happens. She does not want her children to abandon their faith.
On Thursday evening, July 21, I sat in front of my computer screen watching the Republican National Convention. I listened to the speeches given by the four adult Trump children over the week. Like so many, I am all astonishment observing these bright, intelligent, contributing members of society with whom their father has entrusted so much of the family business. I read that dad’s office is on the floor above theirs. Theirs are all in a row.
What is my take away?
The Trumps have developed family cohesiveness around shared work/life values that many evangelicals can only dream about.
So let me ask you a question.
Why is one of his children not living in a tent in Glacier, WA?
You say, excuse me? Where did that question come from?
Let me explain, two years ago I gathered my tripod and camera and we headed for the truck after the 4th of July fireworks in this tiny wide spot on the Mt. Baker Highway. Suddenly, I was confronted by a young man wearing a hoodie.
He got in my face rather unpleasantly. I got in his face, too.
After the first few bumpy exchanges, I asked him what his big dream was. He boasted how he lived in a tent not a quarter of a mile from the center of Glacier. I asked him where he was from. He told me Cape Cod and then sneered asking if I knew where that was? Without missing a beat, I asked him if he knew the Kennedy’s? Without missing a beat he said the one with the brain tumor was kind. Back and forth the tennis ball flew.
I pressed deeper about his big dream. It seems his big dream is to be a ski bum wherever the skiing is good. He has no further aspirations in life.
Later, I spoke with some business owners and full-time residents of the area. I discovered many trust fund children dropout in Glacier. This is more normal than one would expect. I learned the namesake of a renown radio personality lives just down the road running as far as he can from daddy and wanting nothing to do with his father’s God.
You might ask, why Glacier?
Answer. There are no five star hotels or resorts close by so mommy and daddy won’t come visit. Glacier is the last community along a highway that terminates in a parking lot at the base of a mountain. Some call it the best kept secret in the state of Washington.
So why isn’t a Trump child living in a tent in Glacier next to the rich kid form Cape Cod?
After all, their great grandfather spent some time in the now abandoned mining town of Monte Cristo up in the Cascades east of Everett.
Donald Trump saw something in his kids and teased it out with focused determination so that each one would rise into the full potential of his or her God-given brilliance. Trump’s kids were all adolescents one time, too. Have you ever raised a teenager? Apparently, dad kept them busy mentoring them and keeping them mentored by people in work clothes whom he admired.
So back to my last two Thursday nights.
A missionary is saddened by the stories of the loss of children to other life styles and values.
A real estate developer bent on saving America showcases four adult children who are extraordinary and highly accomplished human beings.
When it’s all said and done, the most important thing you can do with your life is walk side by side with your children so they want to follow in your footsteps and absorb your values.
Duplicate yourself in them so that your ceiling becomes their floor.
Bring them on board early and plant in their hearts a life-changing dream.
It appears that Mr. Trump has done that. Donald Trump, it would seem, has the inborn strength of a developer. He develops real estate and he develops people.
If his children are any example of his adeptness at developing potential, I, for one, will be voting for him for president of the United States of America. I’m looking for a candidate who looks at America and sees potential. I’m looking for a developer who can bring out the brilliance of the people of the United States of America. I am looking for a man who is color blind and gender neutral. His daughter, Ivanka, is said to be the closest person to him. He did not send her home when she had babies. Her office is right there in a row on the same floor with her brothers’ offices.
Look at a parent who shows respect for his children and you will see children who show respect for their parents.
Look at the children and you can tell a lot about the parents.
Shared values come from standing shoulder to shoulder facing the challenges of seeing possibility where others see despair.
Larisa, I don’t think you have anything to worry about. Your children will be just fine!
Marlee Huber ~ For Your Flourishing Life!