New Year’s Eve is fast approaching. With it, comes reflection and a desire to improve ourselves. We make resolutions to totally change things in our lives. Forget baby steps. We’re talking “one giant leap for mankind” types of resolutions! We have the best of intentions, but most of them will never truly become a part of our lives.
You may have read Parenting Like Hannah posts and thought, “We need to start doing that”. Or perhaps you read a great parenting book with some tips you wanted to try. Yet, just like New Year’s resolutions, life got in the way and the changes your kids needed never became a permanent part of your parenting.
Why not try something slightly different. Whenever you have a spare second or when you realize you are frittering away time, ask yourself, “What can I do right this minute to help my children build stronger spiritual foundations, develop a heart for God and/or develop to their godly potential?”
Then do that thing for your kids right then. That alone can drastically improve outcomes – especially if you can teach yourself to ask that question multiple times a day.
If you are a list maker, list all of the great Christian parenting ideas you read or hear. Keep the list on your phone or somewhere where it’s easily found. When you have those spare moments, pick something from the list you can do right then.
If you have a habit you want to start in your parenting, focus on making that the answer to your question for several weeks. Then you can add something more once that habit is firmly established.
If you are really organized, you might put estimated time needed by each item and group ideas by the time they will take. Then you can quickly see what ideas you can accomplish in the amount of time you have.
While you are trying to establish the habit of asking yourself, “What can I do right this minute to help my children build stronger spiritual foundations, develop a heart for God or develop to their godly potential?”, put the sentence or some reminder everywhere you might see it. Your bathroom mirror, the refrigerator, the visor in your car, the home screen on your devices – put your reminders in as many places as you possibly can. Make a commitment that whenever you see a reminder, you will stop right then and work with your kids on spiritual growth.
At the end of the day, what will matter most to you is that your kids end up in Heaven. God told us not once, but twice, in Deuteronomy it takes a lot of parental time and effort to accomplish that goal. Yet most parents just don’t put in the work necessary to help their kids grow spiritually.
The saddest parents are the ones who know they wasted that valuable time when their children were young. Perhaps they focused more on academics, sports or any number of other things instead. Now the faith of their kids is weak or shattered and they don’t know how to get the spiritual lives of their kids back on track.
Don’t be that parent. It is gut wrenching to watch parents as their hearts slowly break because of the unfaithfulness of their children. Put in the time and effort to parent your kids towards God. It’s time very well spent!