All of us who have earned the title of parent share the desire to see our kids succeed. But what does that mean? Who defines success? How do you get there? How do you know when you (or they) have arrived? For most of us these questions are much more difficult than simply stating that we want our kids to do well or turn out right.
Part of getting to any destination is having clear direction and a good plan for how to get to where you would like to go. That’s how I see parenting. Goals are not the destination. They are simply good plans that help move toward where we should be going.
In my view the BEST goals we can set as parents have nothing to do with our kids. The loudest lesson is in the life. Before we can hope or dream anything for our children, we must demonstrate first in our own choices. Kids are sponges… of the good and the not-so-much. They absorb everything that they see us doing. We may like to reason that part away or wish it were not so, but the reality is that our kids are miniatures of us. So healthy goals must first mean that we are developing and changing and growing ourselves spiritually first.
After that I become very pragmatic. Yes, the end does justify the means… provided the means are not unbiblical. I used to wait for Dobson or whomever to spew out the 5 laws of parenting or the 7 goals of truly Christian homes. Today I am much more simplistic in my approach. After almost 15 years in youth ministry I have seen many successful parents. I have studied the Scripture and so-called experts and seen that there are, in fact, equally good approaches to growing children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. At times they seem to conflict because of style. Yet the goal that remains constant is that our kids would know that the God of heaven is crazy about them and wants to live in relationship with them. Isn’t that the gist of 1 John 1?There’s a little soccer mom in all of us. What are you shooting for with your kids?