Sunday, May 27, 2012

I Have To Be Intentional As A Parent

Being intentional. I have to constantly be intentional as a parent. The moment I drop my guard or get distracted or relaxed, the world swoops in to carry off my kids.

At least it tries to.

I feel very strongly about raising my children to be sold out warriors for the Lord. But I have to be intentional about it. I’ve watched mistakes I’ve made and I’ve watched other families and I’ve seen how easily Satan can slip in and steal my children’s hearts. How easily he can water-down the truth. Confuse. Distort.

I have to prioritize my faith and my walk with God for my children are not only watching me, they are following my example.  It’s not enough for me to go to church. It’s not enough for me to have values. I need to apply them.  I need to live them out. My children need to see that God’s Word is important to me. I can’t just say, “Follow this verse.”  My children need to see that I’m reading the Bible for myself and studying what God’s word says. That I’m growing.

My children watch me. Do I prioritize living a life for God? Or do I rationalize away my attitude and actions at times? Do I pray? Not just at dinnertime or on Sundays – but do I pray when I’m hurting, fearful, or rejoicing in a blessing?

Just exactly what does my faith mean to me?

I have to be intentional. I can’t rely on the church or a Christian school to teach my kids. I can’t expect that simply because they attend youth group that they will live a life for the Lord. I can’t expect that once they are out of my house and possibly live somewhere else, that they will choose to attend a church and be involved in one on their own…unless I’ve also put a high priority on being involved in church.

If I simply say, “I believe” but yet don’t put that belief into action – how can I possibly expect my children to? How can I expect them to have the roots and foundation to stand on, if I haven’t been intentional about giving them those very tools while they were in my home – in my care?

Time is limited. The window of opportunity is so short for me to play a big part in molding and shaping my precious children’s lives. I have to be intentional. Every day.


Kathleen Fischer said...

Great post Dionna! I whole-heartedly agree!! Is seems the moment we let our guard down, the weeds sprout up and begin to threaten the work we have done in the planting of love, faith and grace in our children's lives. Just this morning I was thinking of the phrase "A stitch in time saves nine." Seems like it is rarely used anymore, but it is still so powerful and relates to relationships as much as it does to chores. I don't know about anyone else, but I find that if I let some "issue" go for too long without tending to it, it just seems to get worse rather than better? ... more difficult, more tangled, more rooted. Do you find this to be true as well? It reminds me of the curse in the garden, but related to raising families. We need to work consistently in the garden of our family to keep the weeds from entering in and taking over. The other key I find is that all my effort must be bathed in prayer so the Lord guides my efforts as a parent, rather than my flesh! Ugh - I hate when my flesh and fears take over!
So, thanks for the post. It was just what I needed for encouragement this morning!

Dionna said...

Yes, Kathleen. Most "issues" do not resolve themselves on their own but deepen. However, sometimes, if I let something sit a little bit, I can attend to it better with a calmer and more focused heart instead of reacting rashly or emotionally. :)