One of the things I have felt the Lord working on in me is “what are you being intentional about?” This has been a slow two year process that I am pretty sure will be a long-term project:) however I am starting to “get it.” At least a little bit.
I tend to focus in on certain areas of my life and work really hard on that issue. But often I end up skipping around a lot instead of staying the course. So I am trying to put that energy and focus on the areas where the Lord seems to be impressing me with my tremendous responsibility. One major area is my children’s spiritual growth.
We certainly cannot force or teach our children into a relationship with Christ. They can have all the head knowledge and never truly submit their hearts to His Lordship. So one of my pursuits is asking the Lord to show me how to live out an intimate relationship with Christ in front of my kids and include them in my journey. How to authentically live as a sinner saved by grace. At the same time teaching them to hide God’s Word in their hearts, learn to truly live a life of service and worship and have a heart that desires to see others discover the Truth.
He is also beginning to teach me that a huge part of my role in their spiritual development means time on my knees. All of this takes deliberate choices to be intentional in how I spend my time and what I do with the time with my boys. Mark Batterson had a blog post this past week that summed a lot of this up. I included it below. If you get a chance to look back on his blog and read some of the practices he is putting into place with his children, it is inspirational.
Just thought I would share a peek into one area where the Lord is working on me:)
C.S. Lewis said, “Every life is comprised of a few themes.”
Thought I would share one of my themes. I am such an imperfect parent. But I can also say that nothing is more important to me than being a great dad. Hard to put what I feel into words, but I know that my kids are my legacy.
God keeps taking me back to the last verse of the Old Testament. Malachi 4:6 says: “His preaching will turn the hearts of parents to their children and the hearts of children to their parents. Otherwise, I will come and strike the land with a curse.”
As I travel and speak, I’ve noticed that when I talk about the discipleship covenant I made with my oldest son, Parker, people always want to know more. Part of it is the helplessness we feel as parents when our kids get older. We need all the help we can get! I’m also concerned that we live in a culture where parents delegate their responsibilities. We want schools to educate our kids for us. And we want churches to disciple our kids for us. But that’s a good way to insure that our justice system will punish our kids for us. It’s so easy to let someone else do something that is really our responsibility.
Imagine what would happen if Christian parents really took their calling to discipleship seriously? We desperately need a parenting movement that equips parents to fulfill their God-ordained roles as mom and dad.
All I know is this: I am not going to let our culture raise my kids! I am determined to disciple my kids!