This is the second part of a five part blog discussing Parenting Beyond Your Capacity.
Last week’s blog post I talked about value #1, Widen the Circle, from Parenting Beyond Your Capacity. The big idea is to surround your children with people that will make a positive impact in their life. Children need more adults than their parents speaking love into their life. If you haven’t thought about widening the circle for your family, start today. It is crucial to your children’s life for you to be intentional about their personal and Christian growth. Don’t leave it to chance.
This week we are looking at the value #2, Imagine the End.
What comes to mind when you think of imagining the end? Are you thinking about leaving an inheritance for your children, grandchildren, cat (it’s happened before!). What do you want the end of your life and your children’s life to look like? As the authors point out on page 81, “Most parents can’t leave their children a lavish inheritance, but every parent will leave a personal legacy.” The legacy we should aspire to should not be leaving an excessive inheritance to our children. Our legacy should be a life well lived and well love for God first, then our children.
What do you want your personal legacy to be? Are you acting in such a way that your desired legacy has a chance to happen? Are you focusing on what matters most? Focusing on what matters most helps us view our daily lives in light of eternity. Will staying at work tonight until after football or ballet practice show your children you love them? No, it is your presence at their practice that shows you love them. Read a great example here of someone who quit their lucrative job for his daughter.
Think about it from your children’s end too. Nearly all parents want their relationship with their children to be everything it should be, and everything that God desires it to be, however it is much more important that they, our children, are pursuing a right relationship with God, as the authors state on page 89. How are you making this happen?
The authors have a great definition of spiritual leadership on page 92 of Parenting Beyond Your Capacity. “Spiritual leadership means parents assume the primary responsibility to help their kids take the next step in their pursuit of a relationship with God.” Emphasis added. It is our responsibility as parents to help them have a healthy relationship with God; it isn’t the responsibility of our children’s small group leaders at church. Small group leaders at church should be part of our circle that we are widening for the benefit of our children’s spiritual and personal growth.
Everything we as parents do moves our children in one direction or another. Are our actions moving them towards God, or away from God?
Imagining the end for my son’s life is one of the major reasons I wrote my children’s book Fishing Promises. I want him to see the value in keeping promises, to learn that God’s Word is full of the best instructions for life, and to see me as a father that wants to teach him Scriptural truths.
I leave you with the authors’ challenge found on page 98: Ask God to help you gain a clear picture of who you want your children to become as they grow to become adults.
Here are their three questions to consider:
What does their relationship with God look like?
How would you describe their character?
What would those who are close to them say about them?
I look forward to hearing from you.