Title: Parenting With A Purpose
Parenting with the end in mind…
For each person, parenting brings about different challenges. When children are babies, nighttime feedings and changing diapers can feel like chaos. Elementary years bring school schedules, grades, and peer-to-peer interactions. The teen years bring puberty, driver’s licenses, and academic pressures. Sometimes, we, as parents, can feel like we are in the tornado from Wizard of Oz swirling round and round with appointments, practices, assignments, and dinnertimes.
When parenting feels chaotic, sometimes we can feel there is no purpose or point. Have you ever asked the question, “What am I doing?” Here are two simple steps to help you answer that question.
Step 1: Ask the question “How do I want to relate to my children in twenty years?”
- Picture yourself and your children in twenty years.
- Take a few minutes and think about that season. Use your imagination. Where do you think you live? Where do you think your adult children live? Imagine seeing yourself interact with your adult children. When you do interact, how do you want it to go? Think about what your heart really hopes for in regards to a relationship twenty years from now. Write that imaginative reality down on paper.
- Now, what do you need to do between now and then to help accomplish that vision? Is it something you need to do one time? Every month? Every year? Is it a course correction in parenting styles? A change in the environment?
- Write out 2 or 3 action steps with dates and times. Add them to your calendar, even if it’s six months from now.
In Proverbs 16:9, it says, “We can make our plans, but He determines our steps.” As you draw out your plans, hold on to them loosely. We can plan and prepare for what we long for, but He will determine our steps.
Step Two: Ask for Wisdom.
In Proverbs 15:22, it says, “Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers, they succeed.” We do not have to figure out parenting alone – we have God’s guidance, and we have help with a community, so step two is to ask for wisdom from someone who has gone before you in the parenting role.
- Find a trusted parent whose kids have grown and gone. Maybe it’s a teacher, coach, fellow soccer mom, or small group leader at church.
- Ask them for wisdom and insight on what they did or didn’t do to maintain a relationship with their kids.
- Ask them how they interact with their teenager or their adult son/daughter.
Make mental notes and use their wisdom to adjust your action steps as needed. Your family has its own unique personality and dynamics, so keep that in mind! Remember, if we do not adequately and purposely plan for our goals, there is little chance that those goals will become a reality.
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Family Life Pastor