Where you ever so tired rocking your infant to sleep, you prayed he fell asleep before you did so you wouldn’t accidentally drop him? Have you ever been up all night with one of your children and packed your other child a school lunch of pop tarts and leftover Halloween candy? Does the idea of an afternoon nap sound more exciting than winning a new car?
Parenting can be exhausting at times. If you read my post last week, you may have been trying to parent intentionally for a few days now. The first day may have gone well, but then one of your children got injured and required an E.R. visit. That meant no church for you and the injured child and you spent the afternoon helping your other child with a school project. You barely survived the weekend and have no idea how anyone ever survives parenting, much less parents their children intentionally towards God.
There is a secret to intentional parenting I have never seen shared anywhere else. You have to be passionate about your children, about serving God and about your family legacy of following God!
Have you ever had a project you were passionate about? Maybe it was a craft or a book you were reading or decorating a room in your house. For a time that project was all you thought about. You couldn’t wait to get up in the morning to start on it and you stayed up way too late working on it. You read everything you could find about how to do it well and when you were working on it, time seemed to stand still. Psychologists call it working in the “zone”. You are in that perfect spot where your passions and activities line up.
For most of us, seeing the ultra sound of our first child made us passionate about him/her. We talked about the coming child to anyone who would listen. We may have decorated a room or purchased special clothes or toys. When she/he arrived, we were over the moon.
Most likely, when you came out of the water from your baptism, you felt the same way about serving God. You were passionate about your commitment to Him. You couldn’t wait to serve Him and share your faith with others. You probably told quite a few people with great excitement about your baptism.
So what happened? The baby started screaming every night for several hours before you could get him to sleep. You skipped reading your Bible because you were too busy and honestly can’t remember the last time you had a personal prayer time with just you and God. You still love your children and God dearly, but your passion is starting to look more like exhaustion.
You can get those passions back. When you combine them into the “project” of raising an active Christian, parenting intentionally will be so much easier. Think back to what first drew you to God. Read those scriptures again, revel in the beauty of God’s creation, marvel at what He has done in your life, especially the answered prayers. Look back at the baby pictures of your child, then marvel at the talented, independent person he is becoming. Remind yourself how little time there is left before she leaves your house for her own.
Maybe you will find other ways to re-new your passion for your children and for God. Please comment below or email me with what worked for you, to help other parents who may be struggling. If we all work together, maybe we can dedicate an entire generation of children to God!