Do you feel extremely guilty because the things that you swore you’d never do creep into your daily routine as a parent?
We all do it. We live in the declarations of what our kids will not “never do,” before they actually arrive in our home.
No television or sugar or fast food. Then one day you give in and buy a “Happy Meal” for the kiddos. Before you know it your two-year-old is declaring that they will pretty much “only” eat McDonald’s French Fries. (Not that this happened to me.)
And you’re still eating the words of “never” when you opt for the bliss of plopping kids in front of two straight hours of “Dora” to allow you to actually shower and maybe even go to the bathroom by yourself.
Then, if you’re me, you feel extremely guilty as the things that you swore you’d never do creep into your daily routine as a parent.
This is why it’s so vital to sit down and pray about who you want your children to grow up to be.
You may have even heard the statement, “Start with the end in mind…”
But what does that mean?
It’s easy for us when we think the “end” means going to college, be on a sport’s team or play a musical instrument. And those things are important.
But that’s just things they’ll do. It’s not who they will be.
How often do we imagine the person we want them to be spiritually?
I’m not merely talking about walking in the traditions of a faith. What will this look like in their daily life for them as an adult?
For my husband, John and I, we long for our kids to be adults who are fully devoted followers of Jesus. Our desire is that they would have a faith that outshines ours.
Those are things that are easy to say, but then in a practical sense what does this look like?
We made a list. Not a list of actions, but a list of attributes that are reflected when someone truly knows they belong to Christ. Then everything points to that end. Everything.
Parenting this way has brought a tremendous amount of freedom. Don’t underestimate the power of simply talking to your kids and modeling what you mean. I think it’s less about “stuff” you do and more about showing them how to walk with Jesus.
Then never say “never.” Stick to your convictions. Then as you make decisions of what you do with your children, ask, “How will this affect who they become?” That’s when you realize that your youngest would only eat candy if you let them. Probably not the healthiest idea, so you teach them how to moderate.
What “nevers” have you given into?
Written by: Leneita Fix