Our intentions are often good, but horribly misaligned. We set out thinking we are doing the right thing, only to realize we had been aiming at the wrong target the entire time. Sadly, this is what many of us bring to the table as parents.
As parents, our kids are our disciples. Each day they are learning from us, whether we are consciously teaching them or not. Too often my parenting is puny in its vision. Its goal is way too easy. Its outcome is way off target.
I sat down and made a quick list of what I mean. See where your family lines up:
A description of puny parenting:
1. Our family is outwardly strong but inwardly focused.
2. We give comfortably, fulfilling our ‘duty’ to God and his church.
3. Personal preservation hamstrings us, forcing us to make fearfully based decisions.
4. Our goal is nice kids who make us look good.
5. We live with our plans guiding our days.
6. We view some people as lesser than us, deserving our ridicule and shame.
7. Our homes are safe for our family.
8. Church is a building we go to regularly.
9. Our god is nice to all people, impotent in his ability, and focused on our well-being.
INTENDED OUTCOME: Older kids who are young in their faith, who are fearful to trust the god that lives at church.
A description of powerful parenting.
1. Our family is inwardly strong but outwardly focused.
2. We give abundantly, grateful for all that has been given to us.
3. God’s Sovereignty enables us, freeing us to make bold, powerful decisions.
4. Our goal is ‘dangerous’ kids who reveal how good God is.
5. We live with God’s plans driving us.
6. We view all people as God’s people, worthy of our love and attention.
7. Our homes are a safe haven for those around us in need.
8. Church is the family of God, living out a physical, visible picture of the love of God.
9. Our God is Holy, loving, pure, all-powerful, focused on His mission of redeeming the world back to Himself, while loving us so much that He includes us in that mission.
INTENDED OUTCOME: Godly men and women who are deeply rooted in their faith, whose faith has been strengthened, and whose lives are marked by the overwhelming, overflowing, deeply rich, grace of God.
Which one best describes your family?