As I prepared to pen these words, I took a trip back to 1990 when our first child, Kimberly, was born in the mountains of Guatemala.
I scrounged up her baby book and took a stroll down memory lane for about an hour today. Born on March 24, at 7:32pm, she weighed 7lbs and was 21 inches long.
Then there is an excerpt taken from the Memorable Firsts page. Tonya writes, “She had worms for the first time at 14 months and amoebas at 16 months.” Now, you won’t find these words in many baby books, unless you raised your children on the mission field!
I don’t know about you but when our first child was born, I was clueless and scared, excited and overwhelmed, happy and proud – all at the same time. I had this grin on my face that couldn’t be wiped off. But, one thing was for sure – we needed some help, advice, instruction, and wisdom.
I am thankful for godly parents, grandparents, pastors and friends who gave us wise counsel and were there to answer our questions in the following years. I am also thankful for good books and teaching videos.
However, one form of support stands out above all the rest. I am thankful for the leading and instruction we received from God’s Word and the Holy Spirit.
Don’t ever underestimate or overlook His offered help. He will direct you! He loves your children more than you do and He knows them better than you do. He wants to help you raise them to love and serve Him! He will give you insight that only He can give concerning each one of your children.
Seek Him daily for His wisdom! Beg Him to be merciful to your child and to shower your home with His grace.
Three of our five children are married now and they have blessed us with seven beautiful grandchildren. They are all striving to raise this next generation in righteousness. We read in 3 John 1:4, “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.”
LaTonya and I, along with our parents, continue to seek God for His mercy as our children raise the next generation.
Definition of Success in Parenting
A quick search of the internet turned up this definition of parenting: “The point of parenting is to guide children toward independence.” There are many other definitions to be found there, for sure.
But, I would have to counter with this definition: “The point of parenting is to guide children to complete dependence.” Dependence on the grace of God and the guidance of the Holy Spirit on a daily basis.
Others say, “Success is helping our kids be everything they want to be.” But again I counter with, “Success is helping our kids be everything God wants them to be.”
I trust that you are developing a vision for your child’s life that goes beyond the cultural norm. Hopefully, you see that the ultimate measure of your success in parenting is not your child’s future income, education, or social status.
Instead, it is whether your child gets safely home to heaven and is equipped to lead future generations of your family there also.
Let’s begin with a question.
When your son or daughter leaves your home someday – you say, “Whoa! Slow down – Who said anything about them leaving home? We’re just getting started and you’re already pushing them out the door.” Well I have news for you, you will blink a few times, take a nap and Voila’, they’ll be headed out the door!
So let’s start again – when your son or daughter leaves your home someday, which one of the following would you want most for them?
- academic success
- athletic success
- financial success
- social success
- to be a person of faith and character.
Personally, I would like to have another option: all of the above. But if you could only have one, which one would you choose? You most likely said that faith and character are most important. At least that seems like the “right answer.”
Let’s change the question a bit. Which of the following parenting issues gets the best of our time, the most effort, money, worrying and planning?
- social life.
- faith and character development
One thing is for sure, we will not raise Fully Devoted Disciples of Christ without a plan, a purpose, and a destination.