Parenting is always intentional. The question is intentional towards what? Tad Thompson explains in his book Intentional Parenting that what we need to be intentional about as we raise our kids is having them treasure Christ above all things. He says it many different times throughout the book (especially near the end) and in many different ways, but the message is the same; treasure Christ above all things. The part of the book that impacted me, and the way I parent most, was Chapter 5. In this chapter Thompson has a section that deals with common mistakes that parents make that end up missing the heart of their children with the gospel.
- Wanting to be more of their friend, seeking their approval, rather than being their parent.
- Desiring our kids to have positive self esteem, which easily turns into loving themselves too much. This leads to not valuing others and misses out on loving God most.
- Wanting to regulate our kid's moral behavior. Unfortunately morality without God at the center doesn't please God. It makes obedience a duty not a delight.
- Desiring our kids to be successful. But successful at what? The only thing that will matter or mean anything is spiritual maturity. We need to be spending time developing that.
Sound familiar? They do to me ... too often.
This book reminds readers that kids learn from their parents best. That can be a positive and/ or a negative. It also reminds the reader that a parent will only be able to disciple as well as they are being discipled. This means we need to be growing in godliness ourselves as well as being discipled by other believers. Our kids will see what's important to us and follow where we lead. The question is, where are you leading your kids?
This is a great book. It's small, easy to read and easy to apply. It has questions at the end of each chapter that make it ideal to study in a group context. I recommend this book to parents as well as those who want to become parents someday.
Get this book, become intentional about parenting, and wait patiently for what God will do. It's never too late to start being intentional!
Intentional Parenting by Tad Thompson ©2011 by Cruciform Press