Recently, someone I know shared a special “bucket list” her young granddaughter had created. It listed everything she wanted to do with her family before her new baby sibling was born. As I read through the list, I realized with a few tweaks this could be a great tool for Christian parenting.
One of the problems with Christian parenting isn’t that we don’t have enough time or even the skills needed to parent well. It’s that we let the every day take control over our lives. We meander about, dealing with what is happening in the moment. We don’t consider what needs to be done or give ourselves any framework to help us remember to do those things that are critical for our kids’ spiritual development.
The idea of a bucket list is actually a perfect tool to help parents overcome this tendency to Christian parent without a plan. In fact, you might want to have several different bucket lists you refer to regularly to keep you on track. The best bucket lists for this purpose have time limits on them. You may have weekly or monthly bucket lists and then a childhood bucket list that covers everything you want to do over your kids’ time at home to help them grow spiritually.
So, my monthly bucket list might have “make drawings and take a meal to Mrs. Jones”, the elderly lady down the street. Or it might have something about how many family devotionals we want to have or chapters we want to read in the Bible. Your kids might want to add to the list. Think about adding fun things like taking a hike in the mountains to appreciate and thank God for His creation.
On that childhood bucket list, you may want to add things like study baptism with Johnny when he reaches the age of accountability (we have a free e-book to help you). Or maybe go on a parent/child trip with each individual child so you can spend one on one quality time discussing their spiritual hopes and dreams for the future.
Bucket lists can be private ones only you and your spouse see or they can be ones the entire family creates together. The trick to successful bucket lists is to review them regularly and be intentional about accomplishing each item on the list. So pull out some paper and pens and give bucket list Christian parenting a try!