(My newest recording “Living Oaks” is now available! I am sharing stories about songs on this recording)

If there were only one thing you could communicate to your children what would it be? This question becomes more real and relevant when our children mark key milestones in their life:

•    Going off to kindergarten for the first time

•    Entering high school

•    Getting a driver’s license

•    Going on a first date

•    Graduating

•    Leaving home for college, military service, or another vocation

•    Getting married

•    Having children of their own

All parents know there are times when time seems to move slowly—like the many sleepless nights with babies, when kids are sick, or when they are out late.  However, when our children reach key milestone events in life, we suddenly realize how quickly time has flown and wish we could go back and hold onto them once again.

I have experienced key milestones in my children’s lives, and have wrestled with the question “What can I say to you as you move on?” I’m an emotional dad and can tell you first-hand that milestones are both incredibly fulfilling and happy as well as a bit sad as you see them walk through those moments.

So, what could I say to them? As I reflected on each of my children’s passages in life, a passage in the Old Testament book of Ruth came to mind.

A woman named Naomi and her daughter-in-law Ruth struggled with a difficult goodbye after a tragic milestone: the death of Mahlon, the son and husband of the two women respectively. When Naomi urged Ruth to move back to her hometown without her, it was the commitment and love of her daughter-in-law Ruth that impacted me:

“Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God.” Ruth 1:16

Ruth held to her word and was always there for her mother-in-law. The result of her faithfulness was that she became an ancestor of Jesus Christ after marrying a man named Boaz and bearing a child.

The old saying “You never stop being a parent” is very true. Even though dads and moms can’t always be with our children physically, the commitment to them as loved, and valued family members will remain throughout life. I realized there were three essential messages I wanted to say to my children through the milestones of life:

  • They are incredibly loved by us—and that will never change!
  • We will be there to pray for, help, and stand alongside them, even when we are not together physically.
  • God loves them infinitely more than we do, and He will never ever leave them.  He longs for a dynamic, life-changing, intimate relationship with them and will always be there for them in whatever happens in life.

Those three truths came together in the song “Always There” that flowed out of me like water. I remember having tears as I first sang it, and was honored to work with some fantastic musicians who brought it to life in the studio. The song “Always There” is included on my new recording “Living Oaks” and I hope you will think of and pray for your children, grandchildren, nieces, and nephews as you listen to it.

A special note: I’m aware that there are parents who know the heartache and pain of broken family relationships. There may be a prodigal child who walked away or is caught in an unhealthy lifestyle. When there is no answer in sight, the best we can do as parents is to faithfully and steadfastly lift them up in prayer to God.  Their heavenly Father cares for them—and you—and hears your cries for their spiritual, emotional, and physical well-being.

God is always there for them and for us.

Here is the link to the lyrics:

Here is the link to my music:

God bless you!

Chris Atkins