Saturday, February 12, 2011

Parenting with Purpose

Posted by Tracy Wainwright at 2:13 PM
Many parents, however, do not keep these things (the who, what, when, where, why, and how) in mind as they parent their children. Parenting is often done in a fly by the seat of your pants kind of way. Issues are addressed the moment they arise. There’s no main goal or purpose in parenting and there’s no forethought and planning. Parents often seem to be just trying to survive the current stage and make it until their children get old enough to move out. Children in these families are often not disciplined or not disciplined correctly and parents end up feeling burdened and overwhelmed. Parenting is not supposed to be a burden, however. It is supposed to be a joy. That’s not to say that parenting is or should be easy. Quite the contrary, parenting is hard work. But, as with any gift that’s truly worth something, children come with the responsibility to take care of them. It is up to us to embrace parenting with a joyful heart and enjoy the journey of ups and downs.

There are many parenting philosophies out there to help parents be effective in their job, but most of them focus on developing well-behaved children. The focus is on external behavior and on molding independent, self-sufficient, contributing members of society. Although not bad goals, the true “challenge of every Christian parent is to bring up children who love God with all their hearts, souls, minds, and strength; who have a vibrant, personal relationship with the Lord Jesus; and who’s lives will be bright and shining lights, penetrating the darkness around them.” (Bruce Johnson, Family Life Today)

In parenting, “behavior is not the basic issue. The basic issue is always what is going on in the heart.” Tedd Tripp

Parenting isn’t just about raising good children who do good things, but raising adults who have a heart for Christ that manifests itself in outward actions. This has to be done intentionally.

When we teach our children to go potty, we do it intentionally. When we teach our children to read, we do it intentionally. When we teach our children to drive, we do it intentionally. When teaching children these types of lessons there tends to be time set aside, specific instructions, often books read to assist in training, and sometimes even other adults corralled in to help. Although traits such as respect, obedience, taking care of material possessions, patience, responsibility, integrity, and fairness are important, it is often assumed that children will just kind of pick up these traits by osmosis. The same is often true about faith in God. Many parents believe that if they set the right example for their children, their children will make the right decisions. Other parents believe that they can set whatever example they feel like but as long as they tell their children the right thing to do their children will follow the rules (we’ve all heard the biggest lie in parenting – ‘do as I say and not as I do’.) Many parents believe that discipline is the key to good parenting, but miss out on the true purpose of discipline and end up alienating their children. Other parents believe that their children will do the right things if they love them enough and end up with grown children who have no respect for authority or skills for life. There are many mistakes that we can (and will) make in parenting. And in our present culture we have additional challenges than have parents of previous generations. Parenting can seem like a daunting task when we look at it full on, but if we stay focused on our goals as parents and decide to be intentional about the way we parent, with God’s guidance and help, we will be successful.

0 comments on "Parenting with Purpose"

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Parenting with Purpose

Many parents, however, do not keep these things (the who, what, when, where, why, and how) in mind as they parent their children. Parenting is often done in a fly by the seat of your pants kind of way. Issues are addressed the moment they arise. There’s no main goal or purpose in parenting and there’s no forethought and planning. Parents often seem to be just trying to survive the current stage and make it until their children get old enough to move out. Children in these families are often not disciplined or not disciplined correctly and parents end up feeling burdened and overwhelmed. Parenting is not supposed to be a burden, however. It is supposed to be a joy. That’s not to say that parenting is or should be easy. Quite the contrary, parenting is hard work. But, as with any gift that’s truly worth something, children come with the responsibility to take care of them. It is up to us to embrace parenting with a joyful heart and enjoy the journey of ups and downs.

There are many parenting philosophies out there to help parents be effective in their job, but most of them focus on developing well-behaved children. The focus is on external behavior and on molding independent, self-sufficient, contributing members of society. Although not bad goals, the true “challenge of every Christian parent is to bring up children who love God with all their hearts, souls, minds, and strength; who have a vibrant, personal relationship with the Lord Jesus; and who’s lives will be bright and shining lights, penetrating the darkness around them.” (Bruce Johnson, Family Life Today)

In parenting, “behavior is not the basic issue. The basic issue is always what is going on in the heart.” Tedd Tripp

Parenting isn’t just about raising good children who do good things, but raising adults who have a heart for Christ that manifests itself in outward actions. This has to be done intentionally.

When we teach our children to go potty, we do it intentionally. When we teach our children to read, we do it intentionally. When we teach our children to drive, we do it intentionally. When teaching children these types of lessons there tends to be time set aside, specific instructions, often books read to assist in training, and sometimes even other adults corralled in to help. Although traits such as respect, obedience, taking care of material possessions, patience, responsibility, integrity, and fairness are important, it is often assumed that children will just kind of pick up these traits by osmosis. The same is often true about faith in God. Many parents believe that if they set the right example for their children, their children will make the right decisions. Other parents believe that they can set whatever example they feel like but as long as they tell their children the right thing to do their children will follow the rules (we’ve all heard the biggest lie in parenting – ‘do as I say and not as I do’.) Many parents believe that discipline is the key to good parenting, but miss out on the true purpose of discipline and end up alienating their children. Other parents believe that their children will do the right things if they love them enough and end up with grown children who have no respect for authority or skills for life. There are many mistakes that we can (and will) make in parenting. And in our present culture we have additional challenges than have parents of previous generations. Parenting can seem like a daunting task when we look at it full on, but if we stay focused on our goals as parents and decide to be intentional about the way we parent, with God’s guidance and help, we will be successful.

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