When I sat down and thought through my goals for 2010 I wanted a year (life!) that was marked with contentment, generosity, and intentionality.
That last one. Intentionality.
1. done by purpose or design
2. a determination
3. implications of effort directed toward attaining or accomplishing
I am learning that as it applies to parenting it means not just floating along and allowing randomness and convenience to dictate my parenting choices. Not just doing what is expected or what everyone else is doing or what my mom did or what is popular or what is easy. Taking the time to reflect on why I am choosing these discipline methods or educational choices or _____________. Taking the time to honestly look at my heart and motives and habits and weighing them against scripture. Opening myself up to the Holy Spirit and his leading.
Being prompted by these thoughts Jeremiah and I took some time recently to define our parenting goals. Things we feel are important to teach our children.
Because it is kind of hard to be intentional in your parenting when you don't even know what you are supposed to be intentional about.
Our Parenting Goals (What We Want To Instill in our Children):
1) Fear The Lord (Esteem God over man) Ecc 12:14
2) A sense of contentment and generosity (you can't have one without the other) Pr 11:24
3) To love learning/reading 2 Tim 2:15
4) To be compassionate/respectful Matt 25:31-46
5) To be critical thinkers/problems solvers/creative Acts 17:11
6) To be servants Matt 23:11
7) To have a strong work ethic Pro 6:5-7
8) To be resourceful/not give up Phil 4:13
You might notice that being happy and a good athlete aren't on that list. Neither is earning a college degree or becoming wealthy.
Not that we don't want our kids to be happy or good athletes or go to college or become rich. We just believe that their best will be found in a life that esteems the things the Lord esteems. We just believe that true fulfillment and satisfaction come from living lives bigger than themselves.
Academics and wealth and athletic prowess just don't have that same staying power.
I feel like I need to make the statement that parenting with intention does not always result in the best possible outcome. My children will make their own choices in life and it would be wrong and naive of me to think that I am able to some how guarantee perfect children by parenting with intention.
(I wish it were that easy!)
I don't get a do-over on this mom thing. My family and children are the greatest legacy I will leave.
So I choose to evaluate my choices and parenting decisions in light of what we feel the Lord has impressed on us as the most important things. Not out of convenience and randomness...but with intention out of obedience to the Lord and our calling as parents.