Parenting Principles That Work from Don and Sue Myers

Don and Sue Myers and their family

Don and Sue Myers and their family

Don and Sue Myers have modeled great parenting principles from the time I first met them almost 50 years ago.

Fairly new in their faith, they were bold to say yes to a call from God to move their family from Oklahoma to California as missionaries with Campus Crusade for Christ. We became friends. I loved talking with them and watching them interact with and enjoy their five children.

I was amazed when they invited one of the young women I worked with to live with them. I enjoyed leading a Bible study that their young teen daughter Mary attended.

And then they courageously packed up again to move to Africa to lead our ministry there. I watched from a distance as they embraced and were embraced by people across that great continent. The ministry expanded quickly. Nation after nation initiated movements of spiritual multiplication.

Bountiful Harvest

Their five children also thrived, then scattered across the globe serving God.

Now those children are gathering around their parents as Sue prepares to enter a new heavenly home. Reading the Caring Bridge posts from each child has touched me deeply.

I believe that the character, faith and love of their children are gifts from God, but also the harvest of five parenting principles that Don and Sue practiced creatively and faithfully.

They gave me permission to write about these principles in my 1988 book What Can a Mother Do? I sought to emulate these principles as I reared my children, and our family was surely blessed. I believe you will be blessed as well.

5 Parenting Principles

Dedicated discipline: This requires patience, persistence and consistency. It involves loving enough to set and enforce clear boundaries.

Persevering prayer: This involves praying consistently and regularly for each of the children. It includes praying for major decisions they will make now and in the future.

Holy heroes: Children need heroes they can look up to with respect. Parents should help “create” these heroes by building up people who are good to emulate. The heroes of the parents should become the heroes of the children. We especially sought to make the people in God’s work heroes.

Making memories: Whatever you do, do it with style. Make it memorable. Give plenty of hooks to your activities that enable the children to remember the good times.

Quality cues: Observe carefully to discover what the child considers quality time. Seek to do the things the child values more than what the parent values. Watch also for clues about each child’s interests, gifts and strengths and seek to encourage those.

If we could sit with Don and Sue, they could expand on these parenting principles with many stories and examples. I’ve heard a few of them, and have loved seeing them lived out in their children.

I hope these brief principles will encourage you as you impart your love and heart to your children and grandchildren.

What about you? What principles guide your parenting?

C2016 Judy Douglass