Devotional

Show your children God’s love by loving them and others as Christ loves you. Be quick to forgive, don’t hold a grudge, look for what’s best, and speak gently into areas of their lives that need growth.” ― Genny Monchamp. 

Parenting today takes intentionality. As parents, we want to impart a godly legacy to our children. We want them to experience the joy of a vibrant, deep and personal relationship with Jesus Christ. But then life happens as it often does. The days get busy and then the next thing you know weeks and months and years have gone by and we wonder what happened to the time. Life teaches us that it takes years and years of unrelenting effort to train up a child in the way he or she should go. Good intentions are the beginning of the journey. Along the way, you’ve got to avoid a lot of wrong turns, go around a lot of curves, endure a lot of problems, fix a few flats, and keep pressing on. 

When life gets complicated we tend to look for the quick fix when it comes to parenting. We just want a quick fix to a problem or issue with our kids so we can move on to something else. Quick-fix parenting may temporarily ease a parent’s stress level, but it does little to positively impact a child’s future. Nor is is it necessarily a good fix or a healthy fix or an empowering fix, and it’s definitely not an effective long-term strategy to fix the problem. But right now we have to put out a fire. Looking for a quick fix is reactive and spontaneous and is the polar opposite of intentional parenting. Intentional parenting is a way to raise children to become healthy, independent young adults. It’s based on solid principles that, applied over time, actually, result in happier, better-adjusted, and more successful kids. Intentional parenting means you’ve got more than good intentions; you’ve got a plan.

Intentional parenting cannot be farmed out. There is no outsourcing for this. And so if you have children in your home, then God means for you to be the central means of their education, especially their spiritual education.  For Christian parents, the goal of intentional parenting is to help our children want to walk in the footsteps of parents who are living God’s way of life, and who are working to be more like Jesus.  

One of the keys to intentional parenting is demonstrating to our children that God’s way works for us. We need to be an example of what they want us to be…If children experience a parent who gives unconditional love, has clear-cut rules that are consistently reinforced and genuinely displays the fruits of God’s Spirit, it will not be difficult for them to want to do the same things. 

Successful parenting is not that complicated, yet it is very difficult to do well. At the end of the day, it involves giving up control to God. To parent well, we need God as a co-parent. God’s plan for parenting was never meant to be one we carry out without Him.

 Discussion Questions:

  1. Everybody falls into quick-fix parenting now and again. When is this most likely to happen for you?
  2. When do you most often doubt you have any influence in your children’s lives at all?
  3. Have you ever considered having an intentional plan as a parent? What has held you back?