Friday, August 19, 2011

Parenting Purposefully

I've been reading a book this week that really has me thinking about the type of children I want to raise.  The book, 7 habits of highly successful families, isn't written from a Christian perspective but it has a lot of good thinking points.  It talks about parenting with purpose, and taking the time to sit down and write down the top ten qualities that are most important to you that you hope to instill in your children.

I think that coming from an "atypical" (although I suppose these days it's more typical than atypical....) family life, I think more frequently about my style of parenting than others.  Perhaps because it wasn't modeled, I often find myself at a loss for how to handle situations that come up in marriage and parenting.

So, with that being said, I spend perhaps TOO much time thinking about how to best parent my little ones.  I know very well how hard it is to learn lessons the difficult way, and would much rather them have a healthy model to learn from while they are growing up then have to figure it out on their own after they are married with children!

Here is my list so far:
Honesty
*Responsibility
Compassion
*Respect for Authority
Good communication skills
Problem solver
Fun/Sense of Humor
*Flexibility/Willingness to adapt to change
*Generosity
Love of Learning

In case you are wondering what the stars are, I will tell you! :)  These are the qualities that do not come naturally to me.  Not that the other qualities have been perfected, but I think they are some of my strengths...  but the ones that are starred... I am still struggling through.

I've said in a previous post that I really believe that the best way to teach your children is by modeling behavior. If I try to be flexible, and talk with them about the importance of it, I really believe they will grow up with a willingness and ability to be more flexible.

But that's the hard part isn't it?  Changing when we don't want to change.  Being something that isn't natural for us. Swallowing our pride and humbling ourselves before God, and asking Him to help us change.  Today at bible study we discussed that verse that tells women that our outer adornment, instead of clothing or beautifully braided hair, should be our quiet and gentle spirit (1Peter3:4)

 I am not quiet, I am not gentle.  I am not flexible, I am not very respectful. I am not very responsible or generous with my home.  But, I do know God wants me to be these things.  And I really know that I want my children to be these things. I could use the excuse, "Oh this is how God has made me!"  But I know it's not how He wants me in the end.  I have human weaknesses, but I also have a perfect blueprint of how He can re-make me, in His own image, for His own glory.

What blessed children I have that they will also be benefiting from all God is showing me and doing in my life.


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