Are you Hitting the Mark in Your Parenting?
Joey & Carla Link
Have you ever tried to play darts? If so, have you ever hit the bullseye dead center? What a feeling of satisfaction that gives when you hit the mark dead on! Are you hitting the mark in your parenting? What is your goal in raising your kids? Do you have a defined target so that once your kids are raised you can look back and say, “We did it! We hit the bullseye!”, or will you say “We missed the mark totally and the dart is barely on the board. How did that happen?” It is one thing to hit the target, but it’s another to hit the bullseye!
What bullseye are you aiming for in your parenting? What is your goal(s) in parenting? It is interesting how different each family is and how many different standards families can have when it comes to setting goals and fulfilling them and that is okay. The worship and ministry style in different churches and denominations can be very different, yet they still believe in the same God, worship the same Jesus and all evangelical churches are encouraging people to be saved from their sins in the name of Jesus and are encouraging them to live a Holy Spirit guided life.
But in the end, what is your target? When your kids leave your responsibility (which is different from leaving your home) will you be able to say the same thing Jesus said when his work on earth was done, “I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do.” (John 17:4)
Are you bringing glory to God through the life your kids live by how you raised them? While they are in your home you may only see glimpses of their maturity as they grow. But when they leave your home the fruit of your labor is apparent to all. So again, we will ask you, what is your goal? What is your target? Here were some of ours:
- They choose to follow God and live their lives for their Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
- They seek to love others just as much as they loved themselves and forgive others.
- They read their bibles and pray regularly.
- They attend a church of their choosing.
- They seek opportunities to serve the Lord in their church.
- They share their faith with people who don’t know Christ.
- They know what their spiritual armor is and how to use it to fight Satan when he tempts them.
Now, these are what the goals we strived for in our parenting were, meaning they were our end results. We could write a book on how we achieved them and we are thankful to say our kids are living them as young adults. We encourage you to write one way you can work on your goals next to them and evaluate them monthly to see what progress has been made.
In the Mom’s Notes presentations we go deeper in how we put these into practice. You can hear our 3 kids answer questions when they were teens about how they were making their faith their own in the Mom’s Notes presentation “The Family Forum” . You will find the presentation “Using the Bible in the Instruction and Training of Your Children” helpful too.
Our kids are grown now and have their own families. They do some things differently as they have the influence of other people (spouse/friends/small groups) and the churches they attend. But do they love the Lord and serve Him with all their hearts? YES! Which we think is the most important goal of all.
The way we treat our kids, and the way they respond to us profoundly reflects how our kids will view their relationship with their Heavenly Father!
One of the primary jobs of a parent is to transfer ownership and responsibility from them to their Heavenly Father. They need to move away from going to church because you said they have to so their relationship with God is personal and real to them and they choose to serve God because He loves them and laid down His life for them.
So do you have goals you would like to see accomplished in your children before they leave your home, goals you and your spouse have intentionally decided to work towards as you train your kids, not abstract things you hope will happen. The start of a new year is often seen as a time of new beginnings, so if you haven’t thought about setting goals in your parenting before, this would be a great time to do it! Bullseye!