Let’s face it: parenting is tough. It involves personal sacrifice, maturity and focus. There are decisions to be made, fires to be put out, and those growing children never seem to stop eating. Parenting is not for the faint-of-heart.
So, how do we parent well? How do we stay on goal with a task that will reap eternal consequences for generations? (Did that make you nervous? It makes me a tiny bit squirmy!)
In parenting, in homeschooling, in living the Christian life, it’s important to have priorities. It’s important to be intentional.
If I sit in a canoe, grab an oar, push out into a river, then promptly fall asleep … I’m going to be in trouble. Right?
It won’t take long for me to hit rapids. That’s when things get ugly quick.
By prioritizing according to Scripture, we can manage to stay awake through the rapids of childhood. I talk about that quite a bit in Map in Hand: Setting the Course for Intentional Parenting.
More than anything else, I struggle to remember that parenting is not about me. God has given my husband and I four incredible children to steward. We’ve been entrusted with both an incredible gift, and an incredible responsibility. How we parent our children really will affect generations to come.
It’s so very easy to abdicate my role… to teachers, to the television, to the neighborhood kids, to culture. Yet, the responsibility to train up my children in the way they should go rests clearly with me, and with my husband.
Our goal? To show our children we love them, and to point them to Jesus.
When I remember this priority, decision-making is a whole lot easier. Math is important, but not as important as instructing my children’s hearts. Friendship is important, but not as important as communicating my love for my family. Our schedule is important, but not as important as their spiritual questions.
Parenting is tough. A few biblical priorities make it a whole lot easier.
What priorities have you established in your family? How do you ensure that you are parenting with purpose?
~ Danika Cooley
Danika Cooley is a freelance children’s writer with a love for God’s Word, history, wisdom and small people. Her work has appeared in magazines including Focus on the Family’s Clubhouse and Clubhouse Jr., Pockets, Devozine, Keys for Kids, and Cobblestone Group’s FACES and Odyssey and in Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Magic of Mothers and Daughters.