10 Things My Parents Did Right

Our guest writer today is Josh Turansky. Josh is the oldest son of Scott and Carrie Turansky. Josh lives in Southern California with his wife Melinda, sons Hudson and Hayden and daughter Hanale. He works at Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa.

10 Things My Parents Did Right by Josh Turansky

When I look back on my childhood I can identify ten key decisions my parents made that deeply impacted who I am today.  These were tough choices, not because they were hidden mysteries that needed to be discovered, but because these decisions cost my parents their time, money, dignity, privacy or comfort. Today I am the husband, father, and pastor I am because of my parents intentional selflessness.

Here are the ten decisions my parents made that changed my life:

1. Passed on Their Faith

My parents passed on their faith in three distinct ways. They taught us the Bible from an early age. They shared their own experiences with God. And they brought us along with them in their ventures of faith. This was the foundation that led to all other lessons in my life.

2. They Homeschooled Me

…and boy, did I need it. I struggled through the first two years of school because of some learning disabilities. Halfway through first grade my parents pulled me out so I could be homeschooled. This decision gave me an opportunity to learn at my own pace and retain a love for learning. But this was a costly decision. My mom laid down her life for me so that I could learn in a positive environment. 

3. No Broadcast Television

Growing up, we did not have broadcast television in our home. We were able to watch videos every once in a while, but we never had a functioning TV. Through this decision my parents laid down their own desire to unwind and enjoy TV so that we could learn the value of retaining youthful innocence, redeeming the time, and the importance of spending time together as a family.

4. Coached my Baseball Team

We were the worst team for three consecutive years. It wasn’t my dad’s fault. We were just awful. We never won more than two games in a season. But as a nine-year-old I learned the value of teamwork, friendship, and sportsmanship.

5. Lived in Africa For a Year

Between 1996 and 1997 we lived in Kenya, Africa for nine months. This was my ninth grade year of high school. This time ended up being the highlight of my teen years. Through this season I learned the value of simplicity because we were only allowed to bring two suitcases with us and most of what we brought was clothing. I also learned that other cultures were not wrong because they were different from my culture. I still view this nine-month trip as one of the greatest gifts my parents gave me.

6. Supported my Love for Reading

My parents and I had a deal. When I completed a book, they would buy me a new book. This meant that I had a constant stream of good books while I was growing up. Through this deal my parents modeled the value of reading. They also made it possible for me to work as an intern at a Christian bookstore, which gave me exposure to some great books.

7. Made Me Save Part of my Allowance

My parents gave me an allowance … I think I received a $1.50 every Saturday morning. But there were some clear rules associated with this money. One sixth went to savings. One sixth went to tithe. And one sixth went to missions giving. The remaining 50% was spending money. As a seven-year-old I had a savings account in a glass jar, and I was supporting missionaries. Through these rules I learned the value of good stewardship and the principle of the tithe.

8. Had a Big Family

I was the oldest of five kids. But my two youngest sisters were a special addition. In 1991 my parents decided to expand our family by adopting twin sisters: Megan and Elizabeth. Living with four siblings, two of which were adopted, helped me understand the depth of love my parents had for their immediate family. They truly wanted to love God with the size of their family, and I saw their self-sacrifice through this decision.

9. Pushed Me to Work as a Teenager

When I was eleven years old my dad asked me to start mowing the lawn. Soon after I started mowing our lawn, a neighbor came over and offered to pay me $15 to mow his. Little did I know what I was signing up for. It was only through my dad’s strong encouragement that I was able to finish mowing both lawns that day. I vividly remember lying on my bed, wet from sweat, wanting to quit. But my dad encouraged me to get back out there and finish the job. Thus began my long and enjoyable history of landscaping. I learned the value of hard work and perseverance.

10. Let Me Go to College Early

When I was sixteen I sat my parents down for a serious conversation. I told them that I wanted to graduate from high school early so that I could go to Bible College. This was not necessarily their plan for my life, but at the same time, they had raised me to follow God’s guidance and to take steps of faith. After thinking about my request for a couple of days, they decided to let me move forward with my plan and offered to pay for my college education.
Parenting involves a lot of dying … right from the very beginning. Sleepless nights, loud and disruptive environments, messy houses, and piles of laundry are only the beginning. Every parent is faced with tough choices as they raise their kids. Most of the time the decisions are difficult because parents have to make great sacrifices to do the right thing. Parents know what their kids need, but doing the right thing can be costly. It's a matter of the will.

In my own life, I’m grateful for the difficult decisions my parents made. I know that I’m the beneficiary of their self-sacrifice. It's kind of like my relationship with God. I live because he died.

“Thus death is actively at work in us, but [it is in order that our] life [may be actively at work] in you.” 2 Corinthians 4:12 Amplified Version

How did your parents’ decisions affect your life for good? And what decisions are you making today that are costly, but hopefully beneficial for your child? 

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  1. Thanks for sharing this encouraging look back. God is faithful! Investing in our children's lives is well worth the time, energy, love, and effort. It's a special reward to see Josh parent his family with love and grace. May they carry some of these lessons on to the next generation.

  2. What a great post--so nice to know kids appreciate being homeschooled at some point! Sounds like you had thoughtful, planning parents!

  3. this is a good reminder that the decisions we make regarding our kids now, have an impact on their future and their "success." I'm glad I read this. Leads me to prayer.

  4. I had the privilege of walking with the Turansky Family throughout most of our parenting years. It is such a joy to have such wonderful friends and partners in ministry. Congratulations to Scott and Carrie on a job well done! (Actually, parenting is never really done!) Josh is a wonderful father as well and he is passing on the blessing to his children. None of us are perfect, but it is good to have some strong examples to follow.

  5. Thank you for sharing this with us! It is so nice to see how your parent's choices had such a great impact on you! I have no children of my own but I do see that it takes a lot to parent. I'm very grateful for the National Center for Biblical Parenting's willingness encourage and help parents find parenting solutions unique for each family. Its encouraging to know that they just don't push an agenda that they haven't modeled with their own families. Thank you so much for this blog post!

  6. As of Saturday, January 19, 2013, 829 people have read this article. That's pretty amazing! How about a few more of you making some comments? Thanks.

  7. Thank you for sharing about your upbringing, Josh. I attended one of your father's and Joanne's seminar last spring and have been blessed for doing so. I homeschool 2 kids and also don't have broadcast television. I make sure the kids have all the books they want to read. I still have a little fear that the children may some day resent the "protection" we've been providing for them. Your post sets me more at ease. I pray God will bless you in your ministry and that you will continue the legacy with your beautiful family.

  8. Josh, Thank you so much for sharing! This has been the hardest year of our lives as finished 2 years of fundraising... went to the mission field... and faced a family medical crisis that returned to to the states. HOWEVER - this year's trials have given me time to slow down and listen for the Lord's voice more - and He has mostly been speaking to me about our ministry to our children. I think I have maybe been "too active" in ministry over the years and now I need to put that on a shelf... and make "being a biblical mom" my greatest ministry. I discovered the Biblical Parenting site through my email subscription to Discipleland (directing our children's ministry) and it has been epic... changing the trajectory of my priorities in life!!! We started Hero Training Camp this summer with our girls and it was PHENOMENAL. We didn't get to finish it because of our crisis situation - but plan to finish it this next summer.... Just ordered the Honor Curriculum and "Say Goodbye to Whining" and plan to implement so much of the gems of family life into our home. After being a pastor's kid, a youth pastor, a pastor's wife, a missionary (which we still are - just based in the states) - I am finally being more INTENTIONAL than ever about my ministry as a parent. More. Than. Ever. THANK YOU Josh.... for sharing your story and perspective. And thank you Scott & Joanne. Big. :)

    1. Glenda, Thank you!! May God richly bless your investment in the lives and hearts of each of your children. Thanks for the encouragement. I think you'll really enjoy the Say Goodbye to Whining materials - we call it the "Honor Curriculum" and it's my favorite! Blessings, Joanne

    2. Dear Glenda,

      May the Lord richly bless you for your investment in your family!

  9. oops...typo- left out a couple of words! :)
    "hardest year of our lives as WE JUST finished"

  10. Great article! It fuels our vision as we raise our own 3 young children. We have also considered adopting siblings sometime down the road, so this was a great affirmation of that too. Thanks!

  11. Thank you Josh for this wonderful testimony. You were blessed to be raised in a home with two parents who loved you and the Lord.

    Some single parents might read this and think, "Well he had two parents. I'm only one. What can I do?" Single parents let this serve as an example of ways and things you can do to raise your children along with the Heavenly Father - the other parent in your home.

    I wish when I became a single parent someone would have guided in my how to raise my children in the Lord. I stumbled around and finally figured out somethings on my own but my kids suffered my "stumbling".

    Thank you Josh,

    Linda Ranson Jacobs

  12. Hi, Josh!

    It was lovely to read your story. I have heard more about you through the years than you would imagine! We started using your dad's and Mrs. Miller's wisdom a number of years ago with our daughter who is now going on sixteen years of age. I know with certainty that her life and ours as parents has been blessed by following a few simple and practical guidelines (from NCBP) during each developmental transition we ALL made. :)

    I am passing your story on to everyone I know in homeschooling and family ministry. Thank you for sharing a concise list, too. As Glenda McMath alluded to in a previous comment, if there are children, intentional parenting IS the ministry!

    Best wishes to you and everyone at the National Center for Biblical Parenting!

    Doreen Curry
    a.k.a. wordwarrior