Tuesday, April 6, 2010
Parenting with a Purpose - Part 1
While on the way home from the homeschooling convention, Matt and I were talking about all different types of things. One of them being parenting. Without delving into this yet, as a Christian parent, answer yourself this question.
What is successful parenting?
From a world view, successful parenting has been described as some of the following.
1. My child having a great paying job.
2. My child having a complete college education.
3. Rasing a child who is able to adapt to and in this world.
4. Raising a child who doesn't make the same mistakes you did.
5. Raising a well rounded child.
6. Raising a child who always puts others first.
7. Raising a child who serves his country in uniform.
I'm sure there are many other ideals out there of what it means to raise children successfully. I will even go so far as to say the above list in itself is not bad. One thing I do need to note up front is that no parent will ever be perfect. That is not what I'm striving for here. Ok, now to move on. This does bring me to another question you need to ask yourself.
Do you have any goals for raising your children?
I've heard it said many times for many areas of life, "If you do not have any goals, you will get nowhere very fast". This is true with finances, weight loss, education and many more. The same can be applied to parenthood. Look around you, maybe even in your own home. How do you parent your child? Let's look at some examples of how some parenting is done.
1. Pure survival. These parents can't wait till their children go back to school from summer vacation. In the evening, they feel it's all they can do to get through dinner, extracurricular activities, etc... When children their children are babies, they wish they were toddlers. When they are toddlers, they wish they were elementary age. They never truly enjoy their children in the then and now. They're always looking forward to the time when their child is just a bit older.
2. The Unparents. Ok, maybe I made up this word but it works for what I'm trying to convey. I see the unparents as those who are just around. They help provide for their children financially as well as emotionally. They just kind of drift through life making sure their children possibly eat well, take care of themselves physically, etc... The child pursues only things that interest them at the moment and are never in any way directed.
3. The spiritual parents. Please again keep in mind I'm addressing Christian parents. These are the parents who take their children to church - either regular or not. They practice main holidays and even may pray at meals times and hard times. These parents know it's important to have God in their lives as well as their children's lives so they do not end up in hell and because it's just a good thing to do. They believe everything has a meaning in life, and love worship time because it gives them an amazing inner feeling. Life to them is all about a spiritual journey.
Here are just a few exmpales of Christian parents today. Do most of them realize they're parenting without purpose? I do not think so. A good majority of parents truly want what's best for their child. They just don't know how to go about it. I've always said our first child is our biggest experiment. How so very true! Then you learn your second, third, fourth and other children are yet different from the first - more experiments.
I'll leave it there for now and give you time to ponder and pray. More to come soon ;)