ParentingThoughts

Thoughts that inspire, challenge, and increase influence

“Most parents can’t give their children a lavish inheritance, but every parent will leave a personal legacy.

With the excess that surrounds most of us, a lot of families get sidetracked from what really matters. We become so preoccupied with giving kids an inheritance that we forget the significance of leaving a legacy. Sometimes I just have to be reminded that what I give to my children or what I do for my children is not as important as what I leave in them. Isn’t it interesting how “stuff” can distract us from what is really valuable?

Too often, parents believe the end goal is to make their kids happy. There are moments when I will buy anything, do anything, and go anywhere if it will just make my kids happy.

Whenever we define a child’s happiness as our ultimate goal, we settle for something far less significant than what God has designed for them or what He has designed them for.

I learned to lean on a principle we refer to as “imagine the end.” The fog usually begins to lift when I mentally fast-forward to the final chapter of my children’s lives and ask a pointed question:

Who do I really want them to become?

I know that in the middle of that answer is an understanding of who God is. Then I imagine the end and remember that God is writing His narrative.

When it comes to my children, the most difficult thing I have ever done is to admit my limited capacity and trust God to show up and do what only He can do.  Some days I just need to be reminded that my family is a part of a bigger picture and that God desires to demonstrate His redemptive power through us.”

This is an excerpt from Parenting Beyond Your Capacity written by Reggie Joiner and Carey Nieuwhof

 

Be the Parent You Want to Be – Today!

What’s keeping you from being the parent you want to be?

Most likely it’s a combination of things.

A few weeks ago, the powerball lottery was over 1 billion dollars.  Naturally, I bought several tickets.  Later that week, I was joking with my boss (who is a pastor), that I caught myself dreaming about all the ways the powerball would change my life and making plans of how I would distribute the money on my way to work that morning.

He said, “Did you notice all the theological language you used?”

My debt would be paid.  I would find joy and contentment.  I would be transformed to a better version of myself.  I would practice great generosity.  My fears would be relived and I would be secure. 

PAST AND FUTURE KEEPING YOU FROM THE PRESENT

Have you ever noticed Jesus doesn’t spend much time focusing on the past or even the future.  Jesus is constantly speaking of the reality of the here and now.

Similar to my thinking around the powerball, how many of us allow our future hopes to derail us from being the person (or parent) God is calling us to be right now – in the present.

Maybe you’ve said something like this…

  • Once I get that raise, then I will work less and be the father and husband I want to be.
  • Right now I’m just so busy and stressed.  Soon I will be the parent I want to be, until then – I just need to survive.

Just as much as we let the future keep us from being the parent we want to be in the present, we allow the past to do the same…

  • I’m this way because my mother was this way.  This is my legacy and I’ll never be able to shake it.
  • I’ve already screwed up so much, I’m disqualified from truly living and being a great parent.

YOU ALREADY HAVE WHAT YOU NEED

Here’s the truth – In Jesus you have everything you need to be the parent(person) you desire to be.  You need not wait until the future.  You do not have to let the past derail you.  Today is the day, you can be the parent you desire to be.

Everything I hoped I would find in winning the powerball is what I already have in Jesus.

BG steps image
Bob Goff

Don’t focus on what you don’t have or what has been the case in the past.

Simply begin.

Today, begin being the parent you want to be.  And then…repeat.

Seeking the Perfect Picture – Repost

Does it mean that we don’t measure up if we can’t get that perfect Christmas card picture?

Not a chance, but if your family is like mine, this can be a frustrating experience. Our kids sense it coming and immediately rebel. If I’m honest I rebel a bit as well. Somewhere, in the back of my mind, I’m thinking –

The perfect picture isn’t an accurate representation of who we are!

I worry sometimes that the church holds up perfect pictures (aka that Christmas cards where everyone is smiling and pretty and behaved and…) and say to families, “This is it! This is what it should look like!” I greatly appreciate the words of Reggie Joiner and hope they encourage you as well,

“God doesn’t use perfect pictures. God uses broken people. God’s desire is to work through every family to bring redemption and restoration. It’s not about better pictures, it’s about a bigger story. Family is a platform God uses to demonstrate His story of redemption”

This Christmas season, don’t worry about living up to a perfect picture, just lean into the messy joy of being family. Lean in and engage much like our Creator did through sending his son to walk among the messy joy of humanity. Your brokenness and God’s activity in the middle of it are part of grand story God is unfolding. Your family is perfect for this task!

I hope you all got the perfect picture for your card this year! I really do. But also remember that where there’s a gap between the picture and reality, Emmanuel (God with us) is there to fill it with grace and redemption.

Praying for rest, joy, relationship, and a nearness of God’s presence for your family this holiday season.

Merry Christmas!

Originally posted 12/18/14

 

For a little extra encouragement, here is an excerpt from a post that has been the most popular on this blog. You can read the full post here: “I Have Nothing To Wear”

There is a temptation as parents to think we haven’t got what it takes.

The truth is you have everything you need to be successful as a parent! Still, many of us don’t feel this is true in our daily lives. We are like the person staring blankly into a closet full of clothes and proclaiming, “I have nothing wear!”

Being the Broken Parent a Kid Needs

We are all broken – you, your kids, your parents, your spouse. The best thing for our kids is for us to own up to this fact.

When we own up to our brokenness we give our kids a front row seat to God’s activity in our lives. Our kids don’t need to see us be perfect to be the kind of human beings we want them to grow up to be…They need to see God’s redemptive activity in our lives taking what’s broken and making it new.

So let’s make this simple. You don’t have to be perfect, you don’t have to measure up to whatever comparisons are out there. You simply need to be willing to grow – to be the person God is calling you to be. It looks more like surrender than striving. It’s a matter of being willing to engage more than being an expert. I love this quote from Brene Brown,

“Who we are and how we engage with the world are much stronger predictors of how our children will do than what we know about parenting.”

Forget what you know about parenting, who are you becoming? How are you engaging the world around you? How are you growing and seeking relationship?

“Faith is caught more than it is taught” is an absolutely true saying. Let’s give our kids a front row seat to God taking us, broken people, and accomplishing great things that we could never do on our own. The world has a way of getting us searching – thinking that we need what we are already have! But, I promise you this…You have everything you need to be a great parent!!

Now, just lean in, engage and watch God do what He does best!

« Older posts

© 2016 ParentingThoughts

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑

%d bloggers like this: