“Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one’s youth” Psalm 127:4
Meaning of intentional parenting?
Have you heard of ‘intentional parenting’? Intentional means “done on purpose; deliberate”.
Intentional Parenting is about choosing a goal, a path, a way for our children and then working backwards to bring it to pass.
It includes planning how to train your children up, what to train your children in and how to go about it.
Then the LORD answered me, “Write the vision. Make it clear on tablets so that anyone can read it quickly.( Habbakuk 2:2)
This scripture suggests that as parents we need to have a clear vision of what we want for our children, goals we would want them to achieve and the kind of character we want them to have.
Intentional parenting means not just reacting to whatever comes up.
We must pursue the vision to help our children hit the bulls eye even when it gets tough (and it always does).
Intentional parenting is more action and less reaction. Click To Tweet
God Himself is intentional with us and expects us to be intentional with our children.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. ( Jeremiah 29:11)
5 steps to Intentional parenting:
1. Prayer and planning:
Planning what we want for and from our children includes prayer and direction from the word of God.
Ask the Lord what is His plan for our children.
“Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6)
There is a way the Lord wants our children to go. Receive instruction from God and train your children up in that way.
It takes a big heart to shape little minds. Click To Tweet
We were not called by God to just follow the crowd or to simply follow what other your child’s peer group are doing.
Intentional parenting is the opposite of going with the flow that surrounds your family and your children’s friends.
We have got to intentionally set our children up to accomplish their purpose here on earth by recognizing their unique gifts and talents.
God wants us to live more from intention and less from habit.
Intentional parenting sets your child up for success. Click To Tweet
2. Actions speak louder than words:
Parents must be on the same page and communicate effectively regarding the planning of their child’s future.
How do we want our children to turn out? How do we want them to behave and act? What do we want them to believe in?
For I am mindful of the sincere faith within you, which first dwelt in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am sure that it is in you as well.
( 2 Timothy 1:5)
As parents we must first display what we are expecting our children to display in terms of character and etiquette.
Our actions speak volumes. Our children will not always hear the words we speak but they will surely do what we do.
A good example is the best sermon- Benjamin Franklin Click To Tweet
3. Fixing a routine:
If you have always envisioned your child being a star footballer, it will not just happen.
If your child has always dreamt of being a lead guitarist of a band, it will not just happen.
We have to create a routine that our children can thrive in.
Look carefully then how you walk! Live purposefully and worthily and accurately, not as the unwise and witless, but as wise (sensible, intelligent people),
( Ephesians 5:15 amp)
Dedicating special time for bible study, prayer and church is crucial.
What musical activities, what sport activities, what extra coaching classes should not be dependent only on how convenient it is to you as a parent or how much free time you want in the day away from your kids.
I see parents enrolling their children in any activity because it’s close to their home or sending the kids off for a 3 hour coaching camp so they get time-off.
Nothing just happens. For intentional parents there is going to be a sacrifice of time and sometimes money. Inspiring, guiding, advising, demonstrating and most importantly being present takes time.
Studies find the more time children spend with both their parents together in family time, the less likely they are to abuse drugs and alcohol and engage in other illegal behaviour.
No other word transcends that of righteous, intentional parenting. Russell. M. Nelson Click To Tweet
4. Consistency is key.
This a big mistake made by parents. There are days your soccer champ is going to want to give up or stop coaching for a silly reason.
Your daughter is going to get fed up of her piano or ballet class at some point. Your child is going to want to bunk prayer at church. What will you as a parent do?
It is our responsibility as parents to help them see the bigger picture and motivate and encourage our children to pursue their dreams and visions. Giving up should not be an option.
Many parents do not have the time or inclination to be consistent in their children’s routine. Thus, we have children who don’t master anything and never reach their full potential.
“Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you, saying, ‘This person began to build and wasn’t able to finish.’ ( Luke 14:28-30 niv)
I once read a report that said that one thing common among champions is 10,000 hours of practise in their desired passion. There are days we get lazy and lose focus.
This is the time to push ourselves to be consistent and faithful to the vision. As Grace from Christian living says Intentional Living is about doing the things that are important to you even when they are not easy…
Our children are counting on us to provide consistency and structure-Barbara Coloroso Click To Tweet
5.Forgetting what lies behind:
God wants us parents to be Master Archers. He paints the picture of us launching our children out in the world by directing them to hit the mark, achieve their purpose and reach their goals.
We are to launch our kids like arrows forward forgetting what lies behind as the bible says but pressing toward the goal.
‘Dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead,’
Forget your mistakes as parents and the mistakes of your children. Do not live in the past.
Happy families don't happen by accident. They're born from intentional parenting. Click To Tweet
Confess with me:
- I raise up my child in the way He/she should go and they will never depart from it. (Proverbs 22:6)
- Behold, my children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. (Psalm 127:3)
- My children love my instruction and heed my words. (Proverbs15:5)
Pray with me:
Father in Jesus name I pray that I will be focused and intentional in my parenting. I will depend on you Lord to raise my child. Show me your plans for my child that I may train he/she up in the way they should go. Give my child a teachable spirit and make him/her to honour me in Jesus name. Amen.