"The only definition of parenting success that matters in the end is God's definition" - Dr. Cy Smith
It may be the biggest understatement of all: Times are certainly different than they were! Social values, the media, entertainment, and even government systems have seen to that.
The way parents are raising their kids has changed as well. Specifically, there is a trend toward letting go of the wheel when it comes to parenting our kids, and simply letting things turn out for the best. Where there once might have been a distinct intentionality to parenting, with clear goals and a proactive approach, now it seems more and more parents are simply reacting to everything around them and letting their kids figure things out on their own.
Parents still want their kids to be happy, healthy, and kind, and they may even profess a desire that their kids love and follow Jesus. But more and more, the plan behind the desired outcome just isn’t there.
This is dangerous and its impact will be felt for generations to come.
As parents, it matters how we spend our money, how we make our decisions, what are our priorities, what our views are on right and wrong, etc. Our kids are watching, and we are wasting a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to influence them with a biblical worldview.
The Clearly Christian Podcast recently addressed this issue, with special guest Dr. Josh Mulvihill, Executive Director of Church and Family Ministry at RenewaNation. Josh is also the author of the book, 50 Things That Every Child Should Know Before Leaving Home.
In this episode, we document three Chalkboard Points to set up the conversation.
Chalkboard Point #1:
Great children and families are built by proactive parents who begin with the end in mind.
Similar to constructing a house with blueprints and a plan, raising godly children requires planning and a vision for the end goal. We’ve got to know what we want for our kids, and the vision of success, and then institute a plan to help our children accomplish it.
Chalkboard Point #2:
The only definition of parenting success is God's definition.
It's about more than just health happiness and financial success and it certainly is not defined by how many friends your child has on social media. Biblical success centers around faith in Christ, obedience, stewardship, and Christ-like character.
Chalkboard Point #3:
Children are like arrows, shaped and prepared for a future purpose, and not intended to stay in the quiver.
It is up to the parents to set the course for their children - not the church or the pastor, and certainly not a public school. Kids are under the tutelage of parental influence for a very short time. As Christian parents, we can’t let go of this responsibility and hope for the best. We must raise our kids with a biblical worldview, and point the arrow in that direction before we let them fly.
Dr. Mulvihill shared some eye-opening facts about parental trends. He states that while only 29% of parents read the Bible to kids, 62% of them will drop their kids off at church for youth group or children's ministry. That is a huge gap! In other words, today’s parents may desire a biblical worldview for their kids, but they are not taking responsibility for it. They’re letting others do the heavy lifting, in small blocks of time that don’t provide the best platform for long-term impact.
On the Clearly Christian with Dr. Cy Smith podcast, we encourage proactive parenting, defining success by biblical standards, and recognizing the role of parents as primary influencers in their children's lives. Yes, this calls for a paradigm shift in how parents view their roles at home. It mandates a clear plan for how to guide the societal values that are impacting kids whenever they are away.
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For more information about Dr. Cy Smith, the Clearly Christian Education movement, click on ClearlyChristianEducation.com. If you’d like to join the movement with partnership, funding resources, or ways to impact your own region's Christian Education opportunities, contact Dr. Smith today at 419-756-5651, ext. 218