Home: Where Stories Are Made
Parenting on Purpose
Day 1: Begin this week by reading through the Next Steps “Take 5” Questions below. Invite the Holy Spirit to speak truth into you as you consider and answer the questions. Write down your thoughts, responses, and what God is showing you. Use the “Take 5” questions this week as a conversation starter with your family or possibly a close friend.
1. Parents, grandparents, aunts/uncles, teachers: What is it that you truly value and want for your kids or the kids in your life? Write out a purpose statement that represents these values, one that is significant enough to come back to and get clarity from at times when you are pressed or tempted to go another way.
2. What was your understanding of the idea of “parenting the hearts and minds of our kids, not simply their performance or behavior”? What steps could you take to be more intentional in forming their hearts and minds to become more like Jesus? What will help shape and give direction to your kid’s or student’s life when your voice is not around?
Day 2: Take a deep breath and clear your mind from the noise surrounding you. Our hectic lifestyles and the culture we live in support our tendency to default to protecting our kids from struggle rather than preparing them for struggle and learning to struggle well. Think about times of significant growth in your life. Did growth tend to come during periods of ease and comfort, or pain and struggle? How has struggle done its work in your life? No healthy person wishes struggle on anyone, much less our kids. However, we know struggle and pain will come to them throughout their lives. How can you be intentional in helping a child or student in your life learn to struggle well, rather than simply removing the struggle?
Day 3: Author Reggie Joiner in Parenting Beyond Your Capacity states, “What I give to my children or what I do for my children is not as important as what I leave in my children.” Reflect on what has been one of your greatest moments as a parent, or greatest memory of your parents. How does this remembrance support Joiner’s statement above? As you think about this jot down on paper how it ties back to your purpose statement from Day 1. Then write down a challenge you may currently be having with one of your children. Ask the Holy Spirit to show you a Christ-filled way to approach this challenge as a purposeful parent.
Day 4: Read and reflect on how Deuteronomy 6:1-9 defines what the purpose in our own parenting and in supporting the parents/families around us should be. How does the rhythm of the world conflict with these commands? What activities, attitudes and electronic devices need to go away or be used differently to help you establish a more healthy, intentional rhythm or pace of life? How does the myth of quality time pull us away from becoming an intentional parent? Write down ways this myth is keeping you from doing life with your kids or the young people in your life. What steps can you take to more consistently find opportunities to speak into their lives as life happens?
Day 5: Recent studies have shown that 75% of young adults leave the church when they head off to college. A substantial number of these young adults do not return. Whether unprepared for the onslaught of anti-Christian attacks from secular humanism or just being caught up in the fast-paced nature of society, this youth exodus is real. Take a moment and write down the names of adults that are currently speaking into the lives of your children. Then write down the kids and young adults that are not yours that you have a unique opportunity to speak into their lives. Look at your lists and answer the following questions. How intentional have you been in leveraging the power of the “other adult” as a potential key influence in the life of your children and the children you know? How could you purposefully and intentionally take a next step to engage and speak into the life of a kid, student or parent today? Pray for the Holy Spirit to show you opportunities where you can make a difference by putting your written purpose statement to work.