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The Goal of Parenting

As I prayed for my daughter’s day at school on my way home today (she went into her class with a smile today, hooray!), the thought occured to me: the goal of parenting is to glorify God.

I know that seems obvious, but what sunk in with me was that there’s a difference between that and raising a godly child. If the goal of parenting is to raise a godly child, then where does that leave parents who do raise their children in a loving, Christ-centered environment, and their children still make bad – sometimes even devastating – choices? (Kent Whitaker comes to mind). Have those parents failed or missed the point? Absolutely not. The glimmer of hope left in those situations is that God can still be glorified. In the decisions they make. In the way they unconditionally love. In both the grace and the discipline they provide. In the way it shapes their own relationship with God.

My goal in parenting is to glorify God with my actions. Hopefully, I will have the blessing of a well-mannered child who trusts in Jesus as her Savior and walks closely with him all the days of her life. But that’s a side benefit, not the object of my parenting.

How about you? How has this concept shaped the way you parent?

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5 comments

  1. This is absolutely true! Our kiddos are watching us, and will mimic what we do.

    I think that the older my kids get the more I am aware that they are their own little person. One who is trying to figure this world out. And they are both watching me: How is she going to handle this person? How is she going to Trust God in this situation? Is she willing to do what she says tells us is important to do?

    I glorify God in my parenting by allowing my kids to see my dependance on Him…especially in parenting!

  2. I agree with you wholeheartedly! Lately I’ve been very focused on being purposeful in my parenting — not toward the goal of producing anything specific in my children, but in order to create and model godly habits that, hopefully, they will choose to emulate. I want to be purposeful with my reactions, my plans, how I spend my time, what books I read … everything! And all for the glory of God.

    What Kellie said is true: they watch us all the time. It’s a scary, sobering reality.

  3. This is a beautiful perspective, and I think it takes some of the fear out of parenting. One of the fears that’s on my list (I wouldn’t say it keeps me from having children, but it’s something I’m trying to work through) is knowing there are no guarantees. I don’t know that my child will be a believer or won’t have a hard life or won’t want to serve God. But if I focus on glorifying God with my life rather than trying to control things I can’t, I can let go of some of these things (although I daresay it wouldn’t ease the pain).

  4. D'Ann

    When I quite worrying about my child’s behavior, and what other people thought about me because of it, and focused my parenting on glorifying and obeying the Lord, changes started happening. First, I changed. Now, several years later, my child has changed. From the inside. Not because of anything I have done. It’s all the Lord working in her life and, therefore, He gets all the glory!!

    A child who was very difficult has become a joy. But I found my joy before she did in determining to glorify God in my parenting of her and leaving the results to Him.

    It usually comes down to a pride thing with parents–wanting to raise a godly child so others will think well of them. But the only approval we should seek in our parenting is the Lord’s.

  5. Pingback: Middle Zone Musings » What I Learned From 2008 - Tina Howard

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