Raising Future Parents

Lindsey Isch Profile
Article by Lindsey Isch

“...One of our major responsibilities as houseparents is to show our residents how they can be godly, loving parents in the future..."

Kyle and I are houseparents at Pine House with a 4-year-old son, a 2-year-old daughter, and a little boy on the way. We often play a game called “Horsie” with our kids where one or both children sit on our legs getting bounced like they’re riding a horse, while chanting, “This is the way the gentleman/lady rides. . .” It usually results in a bunch of laughs and giggles!

Ashley came to Gateway 3 months post-partum, leaving her newborn son at home with her mother. Ashley grieved this separation and continues to miss her baby every day. There has been a lot of growth in Ashley’s personal life while at Gateway in her fight against self-hate, depression, and addiction. Her son continues to be her main motivation. One day, while Ashley’s mom and son were visiting the house, Ashely started playing the “Horsie” game with her baby boy, both sharing huge grins on their faces.

Apparently, we like to play games that involve horses because our 4-year-old has another game where he rides super-fast on his rocking horse as Kyle or I provide race commentary until he crosses the finish line! This game happens every day, multiple times a day.

Michael came to Gateway with a bent towards breaking the rules, and a lot of anger built up toward other people in his life who had hurt him in the past. In the several months he has been at Gateway, Michael has learned healthy ways to cope with his anger and has found a drive to do what he needs to do to get where he wants to go. Michael was watching the racing game unfold for the fifth time one day while talking with our assistant houseparent, Gabri.

Michael: “He does this every single day. . .”

Gabri: “Michael, that’s the kind of dad I want to see you grow to be.”

Michael: “Gabs, that’s the kind of dad I want to be.”

They watch us. Many of the kids that come to Gateway have grown up in dysfunctional, abusive homes or have been cared for by parents who are not their biological parents. When they walk into Pine House, it may be the first time they experience a two-parent home with parents who are available and ready to work through their ups and downs. The residents are often uncomfortable with this and push against our efforts to connect. Because of this, we have discovered that one of our major responsibilities as houseparents is to show our residents how they can be godly, loving parents in the future through our example with our own children.

Lindsey is currently serving as a Houseparent with her husband Kyle and their family.