If I were to focus, instead upon what matters, how might I parent differently? If I were to really think about what matters most, I'd narrow it down to four things. In sight of these four things, everything else
pales in comparison.
1.To be in an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ. I don't want them to just know about Him, I want them to walk with Him daily. I have to model this way of living if they are expected to grasp it for themselves. I don't want them to obey Him out of a sense of duty or obligation, but instead, out of a deep love for Him that drives their behavior. The girl drama we will
with won't last but knowing and loving Jesus will. I have to find ways to remind them of this daily.
2. To hate what is evil. I pray that my kids will all be disgusted at the sight of evil. I want them to look at situations in life and be able to tell the difference between good and evil and to be drawn to the good. I must discover ways to have conversations regularly about sin and the way it effects people.
3. To know that their life is not their own. This means that they learn that their future will be all that it's supposed to be only if they learn to surrender the details of it to the Father. If/when He wants them to marry. What he wants them to spend their adult lives doing, etc. are decisions that I want them to understand don't really belong to them. Sometimes, we don't like the answers He gives us but, we know that He formed us for a purpose and plan. I must find ways to help them live this out even now.
4. To settle for nothing less than a Christian man. Above all, if it's God's will that they marry, I want them to know that they need to marry someone who loves God more than he loves them. Not just a guy who "goes to church" or is "a good guy". But one who will be able to lead them spiritually. This one thing is a game changer and is that important to me. I must find ways to work this into conversations now so they begin to understand early.
When I'm tempted to bemoan the fact that my house is a mess or my kids have been fighting all day, I need to remember that these are not the things that matter long term. I pray that God would help as I seek to instill these 4 things in the lives of my kids. When I dedicated each of my babies before the church and God, I stated that I understand these kids were not mine. I must live as though I really do believe this. These gifts are not mine, but belong to God Himself. I need to focus upon what He'd have me to focus upon rather than the day to day of parenting as I'm so often tempted to do.
How about you? What are the non-negotiables when you think about the things you need to teach your kids long term?