Parenting with Purpose
Alex Enabnit – Research Editor
For the past several weeks we have talked through phases of relationships – singleness, dating, marriage, sex – and this week we got to a topic that can be a difficult, but rewarding stage.
When it comes to parenting, there is no shortage of resources to draw information from. In the message, Kevin Marr explained that there are over 75,000 unique parenting books out there! And if that’s not enough, there’s always the internet and “mom blogs.” When it comes to parenting, it seems there are very few “right” answers, yet everyone is an expert!
The reality is, parenting is hard. Even Mary and Joseph, the couple God entrusted to take care of Jesus, left the twelve-year-old in Jerusalem after a festival and took three days before they could find Him! And that’s just one of many parenting mistakes in the Bible. So with so few clear answers on parenting, Kevin turned us to Deuteronomy 11 to see what light the Bible can shed on the topic.
From this passage, we can extract three concepts that apply to parenting:
- Responsibility. Parents have a responsibility to pass their love for God on to their children and what Jesus has done for them. A parent’s relationship with Jesus is very personal, but it’s never meant to be private, especially when it comes to modeling that to children.
- Leadership. God clearly sets parents up to be the leaders of the family. Parents set the tone and direction for the children, not the other way around. It’s the job of the parents to make decisions that are in the best interest for the kids, even if they aren’t popular. This means setting boundaries and providing discipline. It’s also important for married couples to have a healthy relationship with each other, because a strained marriage puts strain on the kids as well.
- Intentionality. This means actually having a plan for the family, of which there are two approaches: goal based or survival based. Goal based parenting sets targets, defines wins, evaluates progress, and adjusts as needed. Survival based parenting reacts to the moment, changes direction repeatedly, and generally contradicts itself, confusing everyone. Parenting with a purpose takes time to figure these things out, but once established, the most important part is being united on the plan.
Children are a legacy from God that require intentional development. Are you intentionally developing your children?
Verses and quotes from the message:
Deuteronomy 11:1-7, 13-15, 16-21; Psalm 127:3; Ephesians 6:1-4; Proverbs 29:17
“The thing that impresses me most about America is the way parents obey their children.” Edward VIII, Look Magazine
“Your greatest contribution to the kingdom of God may not be something you do but someone you raise.” Andy Stanley
Only King Forever – Elevation Worship
Love So Great – Hillsong Worship
Resurrecting – Elevation Worship