Often, it is easy for us as people to get lost in the details of life and parenting that we don’t take the time to stop and look at the bigger picture. In his book Start with Why, Simon Sinek raises the simple idea that if we start with the “why” then move to the “how” and arrive at the “what” we make better decisions.
When it comes to parenting, it is easy to get bogged down in the details of life so that the final results are not kept in mind. As a parent, it is our job to equip our children personally, practically, relationally and spiritually to function on their own once they graduate high school. This is a lofty goal and the clock starts ticking the moment they are first placed in our loving arms. If we are going to be people who start with the end in mind when it comes to raising our kids to become successful adults who follow Jesus, here are a few questions to ask ourselves:
Personally. Am I helping my child to discover the unique person that God made him or her to be? Am I allowing him or her to develop interests and passions that might be different than my own?
Practically. Am I allowing my child to take on adult tasks and responsibilities? Am I allowing him or her to make decisions? Am I allowing my child to fail and learn in the process?
Relationally. Am I modeling healthy relationships in front of my child and helping him or her to process their own struggles with friendships, romantic relationships, and relationships with authority figures?
Spiritually. Am I teaching my child the importance of my relationship with Jesus by modeling faith, spiritual disciplines and Christian service?
Raising your kids begins with parenting toward the end. What is your plan to prepare them for that day when they leave your home and begin to do life on their own? The clock is ticking. Your influence and impact are so much greater than you or your child realize. Let us parent with the end in mind.
-Dr. Ben Birdsong
Minister of Students, Meadow Brook Baptist