Monday, October 8, 2012

Parenting With a Purpose {Visionary Parenting}

My husband and I took a hard look at our parenting style last night. We admitted it's mostly about survival. Getting the kids from one place to the other. Making sure they eat are safe and mostly happy. We try to squeeze family time in as much as possible.

But for the most part we are on survival mode. Some days the happiest time is bedtime.

Our Bible study started Visionary Parenting yesterday, which you can find  here. It was eye opening and sobering.

Dr. Rob Rienow starts the series off by asking what do you hope your children look like when they're 20? 40? 80?

What do you want to be the center of their lives?

What we do now, matters to them then--when we are long gone.

And then he gave us the very well-known Bible verse: Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might. If you've ever been to Sunday School, you've probably heard that verse from Deuteronomy 6:4. But it's what comes in the verses after it that really put us in our place last night.

It goes on to command:  Keep these words...Recite them to your children and talk about them when you are at home and when you are away, and when you lie down, and when you rise. 

As in make time every single day, multiple times a day, to teach them about God. Because, frankly, all the carpools and soccer games and playdates won't really matter when they are 40 or 80. This is the stuff--their hearts--that's what really matters. That's where we should put all our time and energy.

So we started a new thing last night. We asked our kids for prayer requests. Yes, bedtime took a lot longer. Yes, I exhausted. But it was amazing what was on their little hearts, what worries them, what they think about.

We have a long way to go. But our Bible study challenged us to stop looking at the short-term day to day struggles and start focusing our long-term goals for our kids. Have you thought about your kids past today? What will they look like in 20 years? How about in 50 years? And what are you doing to help shape them?


  1. somedays it does feel like survival! I enjoyed reading your post :)

    I'm your newest follower from the GFC blog hop

  2. Amy, What timing for your post. Madi just started CCD classes, and they gave us a great idea, which we never thought of. We set up a prayer space in our home and put various items (Holy water, crucifix, Mass cards, Bible, picture of Mary) on the table. Madi absolutely LOVES our family time praying together and I believe it will make our whole family closer to God! In the last couple of days, it has even served as our "time out" area where we need to talk to Jesus and think about our actions. I love this new addition to our home!

  3. What a great perspective! Over time I imagine this will get easier, and it will lay the groundwork for more serious topics later on.

    This can also be used to teach the children to envision goals for them as they grow older. You are doing good work with your children!

  4. Thank you for this. The girls do their Devotionals and memorize verses in the morning, read a chapter in the Bible and pray at dinner and sing from "My First Hymnal" and pray at bedtime. It's all about starting one new thing at a time. It helps that we homeschool too. I hope and pray we can do every day well but I mess up a lot.

  5. You know I heard the other day that the percentage of successful marriages goes up from 50 to 96% when the husband and wife attend church regularly. I don't know how correct that is but it was encouraging.

  6. This is such a good reminder. I constantly find my busy days sweeping me along with little time for constructive activities. I always make time to play with my daughter a little, read and give her hugs throughout the day but I know it's not enough and there needs to be more effort put in. I try to fit in as much in the morning before she wakes up and in the evening after she's gone to bed...

  7. It is so very important! To know what they think, what they worry about, and teaching them to pray about those things! Teaching them to look to Christ for everything! Thank you for sharing and linking up this week! Blessings!

  8. I've never heard of this Bible study, but it sounds good. I read the book "The Way We Love Our Kids." It definitely was an eye opening for me as well.

  9. Thanks for the reminder of what really matters. As a single mom, I get so caught up in the mechanics of life and just getting her everywhere she needs to be, that I sometimes don't do as good of a job with making sure the that what is most important, long term gets priority. Thanks!