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Intentional Parenting: Rescuing Our Kids From the Jaws of the Lion

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It’s a crazy world out there. Our kids are being preyed upon – and in many cases – being devoured by it. The world works overtime to conform our kids to its “Image”. It communicates ideas about beauty, body image, sex, relationships, drinking, success, pleasure-seeking, entitlement without work, greed, etc.

Go to my post Two Simple Strategies to Protect Your Children from Cultural Influences for some relevant statistics. I’ve also put together a page of parenting resources on this site under the tab “Homefires.”

Lioness II

Lioness II (Photo credit: Stuart Barr)

So what can we do to pry our kids from the jaws of the lion?

Be an intentional parent

Intentional means “doing something on purpose to reach a desired end.”

Steps to Intentionality

#1 Recognize and Reclaim Your Role as a Parent

I discipled a young woman one summer whose parents were missionaries in the U.S. Her parents wanted to go back to their missionary work but didn’t want to take their son with them. They found another family for him to live with during his final year of high school. This young woman was heartbroken because they had relinquished their role as his parents.

  • God has entrusted our children to our care.
  • We parents have primary responsibility for training and nurturing them.
  • It isn’t primarily the school’s job or the church’s job. It’s ours.

So who’s raising your children? Do you recognize and embrace your responsibility to train them?

“Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.” Proverbs 22:6

“Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful.” 1 Corinthians 4:2

#2 Determine Your End Goal

  • What’s your “desired end” for your children? Athletics and scholarships for college? Success defined by a great salary and material possessions? Marriage and children? Living in a good neighborhood? Having a nice home? Without an end goal or destination, we flounder.
  • What are you doing to intentionally help them get there? Competitive sports teams, tutoring, organizing play dates, etc.? Reaching the desired end doesn’t happen all by itself.

#3 Write Down Your End Goal

#4 Consider Our Perspective

As you determine your end goal for your children, will God have a part in it? 

Our postmodern era says that each person has an individual story and that story stands alone in history. My husband and I see a bigger story – God’s story. We’re all part of his story – including our children.

We determined long ago that our job is to:

  • Prepare our children for the world and for eternity
  1. For the world: Raising them to be responsible, independent, productive, hard-working members of society who are a reflection of God in a dark world. Character development trumps everything else.
  2. For eternity: Steering them toward a relationship with God through His Son Jesus Christ and planting in them a Biblical worldview.

“And do not forget the things I have done throughout history. For I am God – I alone! I am God, and there is no one else like me. Only I can tell you what is going to happen even before it happens. Everything I plan will come to pass, for I do whatever I wish.” Isaiah 46:9-10

Intentionality is so important.

What are your thoughts? What are you doing to be intentional?

Because families are worth fighting for . . .


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  1. Carey says:

    Good post Lisa… on #1 – SO important. Too many parents that I see don’t take that mantle with confidence, trusting that God has given their children the parent HE wanted them to have.

    on #2 – I’d add that that end-goal needs to be bigger than athletic or academic or financial “success.” Those are so temporal. You allude to that in #3. Not to say that they are unimportant, just not the REAL end-goal. We must do them, need to do them with as much excellence as we can, but we have to keep our eyes on target for the eternal (and thus help our kids do the same).

    Finally, I LOVE the two-fold approach you and your husband have developed! Great stuff!

  2. Nancy Benson says:

    I love this, Lisa. I have forwarded to so many friends. Such sage advice. I believe these things are more important for them than the education they get from school. If they don’t hear it from us, getting it one or two hours a week at church won’t cut it. We have to keep saying it and saying it and living it out for them. Good stuff.

  3. Lisa, very well written post, with a strong message! More would be wise to heed your words! My e-mail is foreverpoetic@comcast.net. Thanks for visiting me dear sister! Have a wonderful weekend!

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