The other day, we were on a longer car ride than usual and we were sharing what we call “Grow and Glows,” meaning identifying some things each person in our family is doing well and some things we need to work on. We usually start with glows, and this time as soon as we moved to grows, my son piped up.
“I have one for you, Mom. I’d like to challenge you to be less critical.” I have to be honest, that hurt a bit, but I knew he was right. As I analyzed this critique and how to fix it, I realized that I had experienced a bit of mission drift in my parenting. It’s easy for me to think that my mission as a mom is to churn out the smartest, kindest, godliest kids with the best manners who always look pristine. But when that becomes my mission, I feel the need to correct every tiny little error, thereby undermining their confidence in my love and acceptance of them and minimizing their gifts.
What does God say about my mission as a parent? A few verses that shed some light on this are Psalm 127:3-5; Deut. 6:1-2; Eph. 6:4; Pro. 22:6. That’s too many verses to dive into in one blog post, but let me summarize - the mission of a parent is to raise up children who are like arrows, training them in the ways of the Lord so they can be warriors for Him and train the next generation. To put it another way, each generation has the opportunity to be sent out into the world either as a weapon against the enemy or as a tool to be used by him. It’s the parent’s job to point each child toward the target.
Steps Toward Flourishing - Over the next several weeks, we are going to look more closely at the role of the parent as archer. Before we can start, however, we need to do a little introspection to find out if we are experiencing mission drift.
Look up Psalm 127:3-5, Deut. 6:1-2, Eph. 6:4, and Pro. 22:6. Write down everything you see God says parents are supposed to do for their children.
Spend a moment in prayer asking God if your parenting looks like this, or if you are straying from His purposes. Ask him to help you identify and correct where you’re off the mark.
Need more help? Did you know I’m a marriage and family therapist with In Him Christian Wellness? I work with children and parents, helping them apply evidence-based tools of psychology filtered through biblical theology to help bring you hope and healing in the face of pain and suffering. Contact us to find out more.
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