Journey of a Lifetime
My Parents' Favorite Child
by Ron Hunter, Jr.
Growing up, I jockeyed for my parents' attention. As a toddler I announced, “Mommy, the blocks!” (Translation—Mommy, I stacked three blocks!) Standing on the top of three steps, “Hey daddy, look” as I jumped off the top. Like most kids, I wanted them to notice me. I loved when mom or dad planned something just for me. To this day, I am fairly certain I was my parent’s favorite child, but I acted as if I were NOT their only child.
I craved my parent’s attention.
When I became a parent, loving our first child came easy. Then my wife announced we were expecting again—sooner than expected. I remember worrying for several days about parenting two kids. Could I ever love a second child as much as I loved the first? Would I unintentionally show favoritism? I sought wisdom from one of my closest friends and mentors who had older children. After chuckling, he assured me the thoughts and concerns were normal, and the fact I was concerned would serve me well to insure I would not give either one a special colored sweater or coat.
From the earliest moments, I noticed each of our kids was going to be his or her own person. As parents, we knew our calling was to help develop two dissimilar kids in their divinely diverse ways. Like most parents with more than one child, I stand in amazement in how uniquely each of them approaches life.
I can name traits about my daughter that I admire, and I fully believe she will do some amazing things with her life. I can name some equally admirable traits about my son as he sees life through a completely different lens. The scary part is, I see myself in each of my children. Yet, my role as dad is not to make my kids into a mini-me (and the world breathes a sigh of relief).
Yesterday, we built blanket forts in the living room and drank tea out of tiny cups. Today, they make their own decisions. Do they always decide the way I would? Thankfully not. Even while living close to Christ for three and a half years, the disciples continued to showed great diversity while still being “His.”
Even as adults, I look forward to being a part of my kids’ lives and sharing events together. Their passions and careers will most likely take them down different paths, yet our love, traditions, and family name will bind us together. I am deeply proud of them and, like my parents, I have a favorite son. I also have a favorite daughter. Kids have a way of showing us new ways to tackle life while still maintaining our principles.
I would never be so presumptuous as to suggest Randall House—or any agency—serves in a parental role to Free Will Baptist churches. However, we do seek to serve the uniqueness of each of our churches. As the denomination ages, like siblings, churches diligently follow the path God lays out for them, even when those paths lead in diverse directions. If a church continues in good standing within the conference, they are family. As family, we want to serve them, love them, and share ministry together.
In the midst of our “family” differences, we do not argue over larger issues like many denominations. We do not debate the inspiration, inerrancy, or authority of Scripture. We do not debate the virgin birth, deity of Christ, or the Trinity. Throughout our history, we have taken a strong stand for the significant issues. This will not change. Randall House champions our history, our Treatise, and most of all, God’s Word for all our family.
Randall House truly has no favorites among the churches. We possess formidable potential as a denomination. Our differences make us stronger…but only when serving together. We pledge to help all our churches serve God diligently, passionately, and sincerely in their own ways. Although diverse, we remain family. Randall House has been committed to family ministry for over 50 years.
About the Writer: Ron Hunter, Jr. is director of Randall House Publications. Learn more: RandallHouse.com.