This past Sunday we talked about how God doesn’t want us to be fools with our kids. Chris Link, one of BridgePointe's shepherds, shares from his point of view on what has worked for his family.
Jessalyn and I have two girls, a kindergartener and pre-schooler and we have a little boy on the way this fall. We’re in the trenches of parenting, and yet in many ways we’re just at the beginning of this long journey.
Sometimes it can feel like we’re stuck and not getting anywhere with our kids and parenting seems nearly impossible. Jessalyn and I have found that it's helpful for us to be intentional in our parenting. We know we want our kids to love and follow Jesus, we pray for that, and model being followers of Jesus in our home. But we can get lost in the day to day when we aren’t intentional about what we’re aiming for.
Just like with anything else, it's easier to keep going as long as you know where you are going. For example - if you’re on a family road trip and the final destination is to get to Florida, the long miles in Virginia are easier to get through because you know where you’re going. In the same way, if we know what we are trying to do as a parent long term to raise our kids, it makes it easier to keep going in the same direction even though there is a difficult season.
In the area of parenting we have had the opportunity to learn from several others that have gone before us. A couple of years ago, while on a long road trip, Jessalyn and I were listening to a message about parenting by Andy Stanley. At this point we didn’t even have children, but we were drawn in by his personal story about their parenting goals. We have since adopted those goals in our family as well.
The two goals below help us create an environment in our family in which we can raise children that love Jesus and live out His mission. They help us stay on course even when the days get long.
Jessalyn and I want to enjoy each other when the kids are gone. We want to be more in love than we were the day we said, “I do.”
We want to create a family where the kids want to be together even when they don’t have to be.
These two goals help us keep moving forward. They help us to date more, remind us how important family is to us, they guide us on whether to say no or yes to difficult decisions, remind us that work isn’t a competition to family, and help us remember to have fun together. We hope everything we do points our kids to follow Jesus, but if they fall or choose brokenness, we want to be there for them.
During the early mornings and late nights we often wonder if we are on track with parenting. When our kids decide to have a tantrum in the middle of the store or they’re whiney and don’t obey, it's easy to question if we are doing the right things. While these two goals are not perfect and don't erase some of the hardship, they help us stay on tack and keep moving forward. I hope these goals inspire you to make your own goals.
We’re thankful to have a tribe of friends in the trenches with us and those who are older that can point us to the blessings that come from the hard work of parenting. But perhaps most of all, we are thankful to have a God who listens and guides us. I hope you can seek His wisdom with your kids and find others who can give Godly advice and walk through parenting with you.