Purposeful Parenting

A quote by Dr. Paul Tripp:

Many parents are more intentional, better researched, and more goal oriented when planning their vacations than they are in raising their children.

Ouch…

I feel the truth of this statement even with my very young children. I know that I plan and prepare diligently for all kinds of things, but when it comes to parenting, I tend to just “wing it”. It’s beyond convicting to think that in the past week I have thought more about watering our new lawn correctly than I have about parenting. My only consoling thought is that I am not alone in this. But that doesn’t bode well for the next generation.

I wonder how you would answer these questions:

How much time do I spend considering the effectiveness of my parenting abilities?
How often do I assess the strengths and weaknesses of my parenting style?
When was the last time that I evaluated my level of parental involvement in the spiritual development of my children?

I know that many times, my answer is “not much, not often, and not lately.”

I want to be purposeful in my parenting. I want to consider the effect that my words have on the minds and hearts of my children. I want to think deeply about the ways in which I can engage my children with the Gospel. I want to actively teach them to live in the world but remain citizens of the kingdom of God. I want to spend countless prayer-filled hours calling upon God to strengthen and empower my parenting for His glory.

Proverbs 22:6:

Train up a child in the way he should go;
even when he is old he will not depart from it.

This is our glorious responsibility and privilege as parents, to train up our children to love, treasure, follow, and proclaim the excellencies of Him Who called us out of darkness and into His marvelous light, and to do it with careful, prayerful planning and intentionality. Scripture is clear that the result of this sort of parenting will be the salvation of the very souls of our children, that whether they grow up to be doctors or mothers or cashiers or plumbers, they will do all things to the glory of God in the name of Christ.

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