Parenting on Purpose
Choose what they remember by the choices that you make.
By Clint Fisher, Upper Elementary Principal
With our crazy pace of life, we often find ourselves fighting the tyranny of the urgent rather than living purposefully. Usually we tell ourselves that once we get past this next thing, we will be able to slow down and focus on what matters. But more often than not, there is a next thing… and then a next. Without making a conscious choice to do so, we find that we’ve let our deepest values begin to slide to the background from one day to the next. And suddenly, we realize that the days have turned to months, and the months to years. Eventually, we will look back and wonder where it all went.
I have been pondering these things over the past few months and have realized that time with my family is speedily passing by. I wonder what I will regret most when I look back on these years. Will I regret the way I responded to my children's complaints when I was completely depleted by my own issues and concerns? Will I regret the vacation we never planned? Will I regret not laughing more with my children? I believe the things I will regret the most are those things that I value most yet never quite set aside time to accomplish.
Passing On Our Values
For me it is clear that one thing I will regret is the lack of purposeful communication of my values by life and by word. I feel a deep conviction that God's word provides both the promises and perspective on everything I need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3). So, how am I passing along my values? As I examined my life, I discovered areas where my children see me living out my values well and other areas where I am entrusting that responsibility to my wife. The only problem is that my son and daughter need to see that a godly man seeks god and submits to his word. They need both their parents to be purposeful in modeling the values that are most important.
Practical Ways to Live Our Faith
I have recently made steps to live more purposefully – to instill core values in my children. I want to establish a pattern that will accomplish this goal, despite the busyness of life. I invite you to join me to make significant changes. Think big. Start small. Go Deep.
Let your children see your commitment to attend church.
Let them hear you quote scripture in response to life’s problems.
Let them see you spend time in God’s Word every day.
Take advantage of teachable moments to talk to your children about where you see God at work in your life.
Make family worship and prayer a priority.
Share with your children about your efforts to change your thinking to align with scripture.
Can you implement all of these things instantly and perfectly? No, but you shouldn’t give up! An imperfect, but consistent effort will teach your children much and encourage them in their own walk.
They will notice the things to which you are devoted, and that will seep into their hearts. Your children should see that your devotion to God is stronger than your devotion to our favorite team or hobby. Choose what they will remember by the choices that you make.
I am excited to see how living purposefully will affect my family. I know it will take dedicated intentionality on my part. It also may take a few years for me to see the fruit, but I believe the harvest will be worth the wait.