Many families make their way through life, coming out years later, pretty happy about the way things turned out. Intentional parenting isn’t something all parents consider. Often times, parents can do enough of the right things, right. Their kids transition into adult life without terrifying problems to speak of.
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I spent years in dentistry before having babies and deciding to stay home with them full time. There is a popular sign displayed in many dental offices, that you may have seen. It reads like this…
“Only Floss the Teeth You Want to Keep”
So when it comes to intentionally training our children, we could look at it the same way. No, we don’t have to make our best effort, we could simply “only train the ones we love.” Maybe they’ll all turn out OK, either way.
Parents Need Training More Than Anyone
There is one central vein to my source of parenting conviction. Being intentional. Doctors go to school for years, (aren’t we glad) lawyers must know all the laws, CPA’s, teachers, scientists, all need a lot of training. They could not be successful without it. Babies, however show up after no formal training for the parent. One day you are not a parent, then a few months later, you are. It is now your responsibility to raise up the future generation.
When I found out I was expecting my first child, I was not OK with winging it. Nor was I on board with implementing what I had learned from my own childhood. I knew there must be people who had devoted their lives to studying and researching what made for successful parenting.
What Measures Success?
First we had to determine what successful meant for our family. We knew hands down the single most important thing we could do for our kids was to introduce them to Christ. This caused me to be very conscientious about what sources I looked to for parenting wisdom. Books, articles, magazines, videos, all had to come from a Christian parenting and family professional, if I was going to allow their words to penetrate my heart and mind. There may be good parenting advice available from non-Christian sources. However, if good parenting is found in a secular source and it unknowingly lines up with scripture, there is a Christian professional that has covered it somewhere else.
Is intentional parenting really that important? Is it really necessary for growing a family that is set apart and lives differently than the majority? Ya, it really is. Regret is ugly. We get one short little life, and make plenty of mistakes. When it comes to parenting, minimize the amount of things looked back on from old age and wish you’d done differently. Don’t be afraid to fail, because you will. It’s part of being human.
We certainly can’t win at any aspect of parenting, if we’re not trying to do better than mainstream culture tells us is normal.
“Something being hard is not a reason not to do it.”[easy-tweet tweet=””Something being hard, is not a reason not to do it!”” user=”@AFamilyMeet” hashtags=”#afamilymeeting #beyondgoodhabits” url=”http://afamilymeeting.com/intentional-parenting/”]
Mainstream culture is like a raging river that will absolutely pull our children under if we aren’t teaching them to swim stronger than the current. Some day the children we train up will be the leaders of the world. If you trust the scripture, one day there will be a formerly fallen world, that has been restored and will need Godly governing.
Will there be enough people who know the heart of the Creator in order to govern according to his will? We try to be holy and set apart because within a family that creates good habits; habits of speaking kindly and putting each other first, there is joy, laughter, and peace to be had.
Folks like to tell me how lucky I am. Lucky to have kids who sleep well, eat well and speak kindly. Lucky, Lucky, Lucky! My response was always the same, “Luck has nothing to do with it!”