The most adorable and fun part of my day is when one of my kids comes and gives me unmerited love. A cuddle from my 1 year old, an” I love you mommy” from my 4 year old, a “I really want to play dollies with you mom” from my 6 year old, or a “can I have some alone time with you mom?” from my 9 year old. With a very full life, It is so easy to get caught up in the routine of things, getting frustrated by the never ending work load that comes with parenting… and completely forget my purpose.
What is my purpose? LOVE them & teach them.
It is astounding how many people go into parenting with no goals or purpose. Some never had parents who cared about them, some are just too full of self to care, but most are just lost for what to do. Survive is really all that is on the mind. Truthfully, if you have been a parent long, Surviving is sometimes a really noble goal. lol.
Let me challenge you as God has been challenging me… to take a look at our families and make purposeful, eternal decisions when parenting. I think most parents really want to see their children succeed. But maybe we get so caught up in their success that we forget the essential things.
What are the essentials?
Here is how I see it.
1 – Relationship with God. My goal is to show my kids through everything about God’s love, mercy, & grace. Jesus used parables and so If I remember, I try to bring God into everything…. making it a natural illustration of a biblical principle. Really, it’s not going crazy wierd and never addressing emotions, but helping them to see how God can help them with everything and every emotion. My prayer is that they will have a personal relationship with the One who has forever changed me. I pray my life speaks the loudest message about a relationship with God. This alone keeps me humble… whatever I see in them, is probably being handed down from me.
2- Relationship with others. I must give my kids essential life skills for relating to others. It is so sad to see a child who has no concept of respect for others and authorities in their lives.
Respect for authority starts at home. “Listen and Obey” I always use the line that “if you don”t obey mommy, one day you will not obey the police either and end up in jail” lol. Maybe it’s a bit extreme…. But I also use teachers and every other authority I can think of that disobedience = consequence.
Here is how I help my kids see what is important in relationships with people: Right Attitudes. Note: IT can only be obtained by a relationship with God… The fruit\proof that God’s Spirit lives in them. Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Gentleness, Faithfulness, & Self-Control….. Strong in Spirit. And consequences if their attitudes or actions do not line up.
3- Health. I get to train my kids how to live a life that will help them accomplish God’s will for their lives. Spiritual, emotional & physical health… in that order. Spiritual Priorities. (Church is not an optional thing and nothing trumps it, Encourage creative ways of Bible reading and praying) Emotional Health (I want to know what is going on their hearts but more importantly I must train them to go to God and empty their emotions on Him) Physical Health (Eating right, being active… I want them able to physically be ready to follow God’s call and not be distracted by how they think they look or feel, getting a Godly confidence)
4- Responsibility. I want to help them establish a servants heart. How… accomplish small goals. Homework done on time, getting to events on time, accomplishing what is asked in a timely manor, Serving at church, being part of a family by helping. It is never too early to teach this.
This is not all that Parenting must include… but if I can accomplish these and have Children who Love God, Love others, and accomplish God’s plan for their Lives…I will be one happy momma. How will we do it… PRAY about everything, LOVE unconditionally, Encourage daily & Train in every moment.