Raising children is one of the most difficult and most fulfilling jobs in the world – and one for which we often feel least qualified. There’s plenty of information and resources for parents today. Just try doing a Google search on parenting and you will find over 80 millions websites devoted to parenting. With all this information, we should be better equipped and prepared for the journey of parenting…right? Wrong! The reason is that there are so many competing models for parenting. How do we choose the right one?
One of the challenges of parenting today is that there are a bunch of different models for raising kids running around. In a sense, we have created jumbled up parenting styles that simply do not work. Scores of well-meaning parents have conformed to cultural expectations rather than to what God expects for our families. Part of the problem is that we are simply unaware of how to parent God’s way. We are parenting the way we think it should be done or perhaps the way our parents raised us. Or we are just reacting without any preset agenda to whatever crisis, problem, or challenge that comes our way. These varied models for parenting can be summed up in three different categories.
First of all, there’s parenting by DEFAULT. These are parenting skills based on societal norms, traditions, and expectations. They are parenting habits and patterns that are driven by cultural forces. These parenting practices change from generation to generation. Many of these cultural influences are invisible to us, yet they greatly effect how we parent.
Secondly, there is EXPERIMENTAL parenting. This is parenting based on our own personal experiences and outcomes. We simply parent by doing what comes natural to us. This is “trial and error” parenting; we take what we have learned from past endeavors and adapt to come with a better plan next time around.
Finally, our goal is to implement REVOLUTIONARY parenting. Revolutionary parenting realizes that God’s Word provides the foundation on how to raise our children. This is where our parenting ideas and styles come from the application of Biblical commands, principles, and practices. Revolutionary parents know that their primary role is to raise their children to know, love, and serve God with all their hearts, minds, souls, and strength.
QUESTIONS TO REFLECT ON
By which method are you currently parenting? Default, Experimental, or Revolutionary?
What is the hardest aspect of parenting for you?
How do you raise your children to love God and put Him first in their lives?
What are you doing to influence who your kids are becoming?