Intentional Parenting

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A few days ago I watched a short video on Facebook, and then saw a nasty, heartless comment from another woman. Social media is a breeding ground for nasty comments, of course; it shouldn’t have surprised me, but it did. I was taken aback by how sincerely hateful this woman was - she had pure evil purposed in her heart and made absolutely no apologies.

Raising kids in this world is scary. Sometimes I think, man, how are my kids going to go out into the world, into public places, and deal with these kinds of interactions? How are they going to handle all the evil? Will they know right and wrong and be able to stand their ground when they’re pushed? Will they make it, following Christ??

There’s no guarantee how our kids will turn out. But mamas (and dads!), we certainly have a whole lot of influence on them!

If we as Christian parents think that everything is up to chance, we are so mistaken. If we think that we can sail through parenting and let things happen as they happen, or do damage control later, we are so mistaken.

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.

Deuteronomy 6:5-7

God’s design is that we, Dad and Mom, be their primary teachers. We are the ones who establish prayer, reading Scripture, searching for God’s truth when we have questions. It’s not a bubble, keeping them from the world completely - but it is protection from some things as is age-appropriate. We walk them through each phase of their lives, until they are out of our homes and on their own. I sometimes envision that walk starting out with them being carried, then we hold hands, then lessen to holding hands sometimes. Then we walk beside, then stay a couple steps back - until they’re fully on their own.

We won’t parent perfectly, but may we be intentional! May we not just wait to see how they turn out, hoping and praying they’ll be okay.

Your ultimate hope and prayer for them is salvation, is it not? Then let us show them the Savior.

Only God knows who will be saved, but let us do all that we can to point them in that direction!

Pray with them regularly, read Scripture with them daily. Show them how you yourself turn to the Lord when you have questions or need wisdom or comfort. Forgive them, and ask for forgiveness when you mess up. Let them see a flourishing relationship between you and your Savior, a relationship that is alive and growing. If you’re struggling, it’s okay! Keep seeking Him anyways! Our children don’t need perfect parents, they need parents who recognize their shortcomings and turn to Him for every little and big thing.

Our God is a righteous, loving God. He is able to bring us along, and bring our children along, in faith and knowledge of Himself. Be encouraged; He has given you this role as parent of your children, and He equips you to do it well. When you seek Him, you will find Him (Jer. 29:13)! When you ask for wisdom, He will give it (James 1:5)! He won’t leave us alone as we try to lead our children toward Him.

Take up your duties with joy, dear friend. Be intentional in your parenting; teaching and training and gracefully pardoning. May our children see Jesus through us, that they may be drawn closer to Him!

-Amy