Being a strategic and intentional parent takes work. It takes planning. It takes motivation. It takes time. Tim Keller says it far better than I could in this quote:
“The only way that your children will grow beyond their dependency into self-sufficient adults is for you to essentially abandon your own independence for twenty years or so…You can make the sacrifice, or they’re going to make the sacrifice. It’s them or you. Either you suffer temporarily and in a redemptive way, or they’re going to suffer tragically, in a wasteful and destructive way.”
Am I willing to give up my needs, wants, and rights for the benefit of my children?
The quick and easy answer is yes. The problem is that gospel centered, strategic parenting seems nice and easy from 30,000 feet. The problem is that Gospel-centered, strategic parenting gets much more difficult the closer it gets to real life. Work and schedules start to intrude. Our selfishness rears its ugly head. Our needs start to take precedence over their needs. It might not be clear in the moment but the end result shows it clearly.
Are you willing to make the sacrifice? What are you willing to give up in order to take the time necessary to cast and model a vision for what it means to be a godly man or woman? Someone is going to suffer in the process.
Are you willing to suffer redemptively for the benefit of your children or let them suffer because of your selfish desires?
Our children are only with us for a short time. It might not seem that way right now but trust me, it goes by fast.
Knowing that, we must take advantage of every opportunity to teach and train them. It might get in the way of our schedule. A question might be asked for the 1,000th time when we are at the breaking point of exhaustion. They might want five minutes more of playtime when every fiber of our being is saying no. Parenting is messy.
I am so thankful that Jesus didn’t react with me the way I often react with my kids. He gave up His rights for my benefit. He suffered redemptively on my behalf. The more that I come to this realization on a daily basis, the more focused I can be on abandoning my independence for the sake of my children.
I give up my rights for them because Christ gave up His rights for me. That’s what strategic and intentional parents do.
Presbyterian Day School (PDS) is a private, Christian preschool and elementary school serving boys from 2-years-old through 6th grade for almost 75 years.
With our mission of striving to glorify God by developing boys in wisdom and stature and favor with God and man, we take a holistic approach to education, nurturing the heart, soul, mind, and body of each boy.