Thursday, November 1, 2012

The Importance of Intentional Parenting

Our roles as parents are by far the most important roles we will ever fill. Perhaps even more important than we will ever begin to realize. We are responsible not only for feeding, clothing, and housing, but also physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health. We are responsible for life, both in this world and the life thereafter.

What we teach our children today will directly influence the kind of person they will become, as well as the choices they will make for themselves and for their own children one day.

"Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it."
(Proverbs 22:6 ESV)

What a very powerful promise God has made! Our lives are often riddled with uncertainty, but never so much as when we are responsible for another life.

I remember the first time we brought our daughter, Faith, home from the hospital. I have never been so scared, so uncertain and nervous in my whole life. For first time I felt completely out of my element and unsure of myself. I was so scared that I was going to accidentally hurt this precious, fragile angel God entrusted to me. I couldn't believe they were just sending me home with her. I felt like I should have a masters degree in child care first or be expected to pass some sort of test.

I would like to say the uncertainty has worn off, but it hasn't. Every second of every day I am second guessing myself, wanting only the best for her, trying to be the best I can for her, trying to teach her and prepare her for life. That is a heavy responsibility for anyone and one I could no doubt mess up without even realizing it until its too late, which is what makes me nervous.

However, my Father thought of this. How well He knows me! He knew I would need His instructions, His Words of wisdom in moments of uncertainty like these. He left me a promise I could firmly stand on, that would reassure me and put my worries to rest.

"You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up."
(Deuteronomy 6:5-7 NKJV)

Stand on the promise of God. Lead your children and diligently train them up to love the Lord with all their heart, soul and strength. If you do this the Lord promises that when they have grown they will not depart from what you have taught them. For the first time and perhaps the only time in your life you can be assured and confident that you are doing the right thing, that you are teaching them and guiding them in the right direction.

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