I guess I knew that someday I would be writing about my parents and about their significance in my life, but I never expected it to be so soon. As graduation approaches, and the end of 18 years of living under my parent’s guidance and wisdom, what better time to capture those memories than now.
God blessed me with my parents, Dale and Karil Rasmussen, 18 years ago, and those 18 years will probably be the sweetest years of my life. Obviously, I don’t remember much about the first few years of living with my parents, except I do remember being spanked quite frequently. I was really a disobedient child, although you would never know it now, (HA HA!) My parent’s patience and wisdom during this time, amazes me. They never disciplined me for childish foolishness, only when they knew I was deliberately disobeying.
The first Bible verse I memorized, was Colossians 3:20 “Children obey you parents, for this is well pleasing to the Lord.” My parents taught me not only to obey them just because they were my parents, but because it also pleased Jesus when I obeyed. I never forgot this and as I became older my thinking changed from: “If I do this I’ll get in trouble,” to, “Will doing this please the Lord?” Whenever I did get in trouble, my parents would explain why, and what I did was wrong according to the Word of God. Then after I was spanked or disciplined, somehow, my parents would hold me, love me, and pray with me. This taught me that God was a loving God, and disciplined because He wants us to be our best.
Another thing that I will never forget is my Dad’s passion for truth! In our relationship he always wanted me to tell the truth and he would do the same. He always got to the heart of issues and looked at them from God’s point of view. He once said that if there was anything he would teach me, it would be to tell the truth, and to get to the heart of the matter. He has passed that passion on to me.
As I got older, the spankings ceased and my parents took on a different form of teaching. I’ll always be so thankful that they let me make decisions for myself when they knew I wouldn’t be permanently “damaged.” When I was about 12 or 13, a girlfriend of mine gave me one of those “trashy” romance novels to read. I had read about a third of the way into the book before my parents knew about it. They checked the novel out, and told me why they didn’t want me to read it. According to God’s Word, they told me what consequences reading a book like that might hold, and then they let me decide for myself, telling me they trusted me. I gave the novel back to my friend, because my parents trusted me and I didn’t want to let God or them down. And that is when our relationship turned into a trusting, responsible one. I knew that my parents trusted me, and I valued that trust. That trust gave us both freedom and a strong relationship.
As a teenager, I don’t know what I would have done without my parents. Their wisdom, love, and support guided me through every decision, and gave me a peace and confidence so dear to me. Some of my most special memories are of sitting on the couch with my Dad at 12:30 a.m. talking about life, and rubbing each other’s feet. I could talk to my parents about anything … boys, sex, romance, relationships, God, and life. I never felt uncomfortable about talking to them about any issue, or struggle I was facing. They always taught me God’s wisdom and would laugh when I laughed, or hold me while I cried. My Dad often took turns taking each of us kids out on dates, and we often had “Family time.”
A couple of times, I remember running out to my Dad’s office to talk to him, peeking through the window to see if he was busy, and finding him on his knees, hands clasped, and praying. I remember being up late at night, and hearing my parent’s voices in their bedroom, praying or talking about us kids and life. My parents never had reservations about showing their affection for each other in front of us kids … kissing and hugging … at the dinner table. My Mom always got (and gets) up early in the morning and works late into the night taking care of her family faithfully and unbegrudgingly.
My parents always stressed the importance of communication and forgiveness in relationships. I remember getting so upset with my parents when they wouldn’t let me leave the room until I had told them what was bothering me. It amazed me when I walked away feeling so much better, when my parents forced me to talk to them. And whenever my parents knew that they may have said something to hurt me, they immediately came to me and asked for forgiveness. They were, and are, always so humble and unselfish towards us kids; laying down their “pride” and “rights” as parents for our feelings.
My Dad and Mom never fail to tell me, “I love you,” or express physical affection with hugs and kisses. I Thank God everyday for them, and marvel at His love in giving them to Kara, Landon, and I. I write this to publicly honor them and give the Glory to God. I love my parents with all my heart, and am so thankful that no matter what happens here on Earth, I have the gift of spending eternity with them.