“Teach your kids that the Bible is for them even though it’s not about them.” – A.M. Brewster.
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.
Parenting can keep you so busy that you fall into a pattern of simply reacting to what’s going on around you. But you can’t be the best parent God wants you to be that way. If you’re intentional about parenting – choosing wise ways of responding to your children rather than just reacting to them – you can fulfill all of God’s good purposes for your parenting. Through the process of parenting, God is working not just in your children’s lives, but also in your own life. God intends for you to grow into a more spiritually mature person as you learn to apply His wisdom to the challenges of parenting.
Parenting reveals lots of valuable information about who you are as a person. Seek to learn more about yourself so you’ll have the perspective you need to improve your maturity, which will then improve your relationship with your kids. Ask three people who know you well and will tell you the truth on these questions: “What have you observed about me as a parent?” “What are the strengths I bring to parenting?” “What are the struggles I bring to parenting?” “What do you enjoy about being in relationship with me?” and “What are the challenges about being in relationship with me?” Then pray about what they say, asking God to help you grow in specific ways.
Make sure that your life is showing your kids the right story. God intends for your life to show your children what real faith in action looks like. Ask yourself: “What kind of story am I living in front of my children?” “Does my life speak about the things I believe and the people I love?” and “Am I living a life of faith in front of my children, or just talking about it?”
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.
- When do you most often doubt you have any influence in your children’s lives at all?
- Have you ever considered having an intentional plan as a parent? What has held you back?