Nov 14, 2012

Becoming a Parent of Excellence



Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord,
the fruit of the womb, a reward. Psalm 127:3


My children are a heritage from the Lord... and I am a frustrated perfectionist {in every area of my life, especially parenting}.  So frustrated that I rarely try for perfection.


Parenting is exhausting.  You think you have it figured out and then the next phase comes and you realize you don't know anything.



Well, you might know one thing:  You love your kids.



Regardless of how many children you are raising, one, two, four or more, every mother is motivated first by love, and then by frustration. (When your children don't act the way you are teaching them to act, especially when they embarrass you in front of other parents).




I think that the best two pieces of parenting advice ever given to me are these: 

1. Consistency is key 
2. Just keep trying


My kids are at a "good age" {the people who call ages these things obviously didn't have a 9 year old like mine}, they are becoming independent, and haven't yet been taken over by hormones.

This last year or two I have been internally striving for excellence {not perfection} as a parent. 

Excellence defined: possessing outstanding quality or superior merit; remarkably good, extraordinary.


NOT

Perfection defined: the highest degree of proficiency, skill, or excellence


This term might intimidate you, or it might really resonate with where you are a parent.  

I came to this concept while considering what was motivating me as a parent to keep trying.  

I have a purpose as a parent (I am intentionally raising children who will become adults) and a philosophy that has developed over the years from books I have read, experiences I have had, parents I have observed and of course both my parents and my husband's parents as examples.
So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. Galatians 6:9
What a good promise!  Most of what I am doing as a parent right now may or may not impact tomorrow, but it will impact 10 years from tomorrow.



So, you might be wondering, what do I mean by excellence? Joyce Meyer once said, "Excellent people exceed expectations."  It means going the extra mile, it means being proactive, it means not giving in to the temptation to be lazy or to give up.

Colossians 3:17 says, "Whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus . . . " and later Paul writes, "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward" (Colossians 3:23-24).

When it comes to parenting, though, it depends on the parent!  It may mean something very different for me and my husband,than what it means for your family.  All of these things are a part of being intentional or purposeful as a parent.

What excellence looks like for us :
(to learn more about each idea, read the post that will {eventually} be linked up)
  • teaching our children personal responsibility
  • teaching our children how to be independent
  • creating a culture of thankfulness and empathy
  • parenting each child individually according to their individual strengths and weaknesses
  • creating a home culture that prioritizes family and Church attendance
  • teaching our children to value community service and volunteerism
  • training our children to be people of integrity and character
  • enabling our children to be self-reliant (and God-reliant)
  • building resiliency in our children
  • training our children to become interesting adults
  • teaching our children to be thinking adults
Train up a child in the way he should go;
even when he is old he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6


Every action has a consequence, some are positive and some are negative.  

Parenting intentionally is hard work, and not for the faint of heart.  

It's a risk, you could do all the "right things" and in the end your child could still choose to rebel and walk their own, challenging path.  

It's also a balancing act (back to my circus), you want to parent your children so well that when they become adults they WANT to be your friend. Intentionality can sometimes feel a little INTENSE, which is warned against in Ephesians 6:4 "Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord."

The above list describes our parenting philosophy, and the intention behind much of what we do.  We aren't perfect at any of it, but every day we are TRYING to do our best.


The godly walk with integrity; 
blessed are their children who follow them. Proverbs 20:7


3 comments:

  1. Stopping by from Mommy Brain Mixer! Love for you to return the follow when you can :)
    Thanks so much!

    julie @ Naptime Review
    www.thenaptimereview.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oh yes, parenting is by far the hardest thing I've ever done and my boys are only 2 and 5! Great post :)

    I'm a new follower, looking forward to reading more!
    www.heiditakingtheplunge.blogspot.com

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  3. You've got God in the mix, so you'll do just fine; raising great kids into upstanding adults. The one thing I didn't hear you say, that appears to be the demise of many how many children are being raised today is, "I want my child to be my friend", which I think is smart to leave out.

    Following what He (God) said versus what "they" said/say is the wisest choice you could ever make. So, bravo to you! You're "on track", whether you think so or not. Hang in there. As long as parents heed the word of the Lord by hearing the "sound" of his voice in their spirit, and allow God to dictate who HE SAID they are -- as opposed to trying to make them be who the parent(s) want them to be, the kids will be alright -- as the beginning stages of His will for their lives will have been done, making God pleased to honor His God-given parental stewardship as such.

    When kids are taught to launch into the deep, step out of the boat, walk on water, conquer mountains, unstop wells, prophesy to dead bones, antagonize the devil and WORSHIP GOD with all their might... God will of course have no choice but to say, "Well done".

    Happy SITS Saturday! Blessing to you and your family and Happy Thanksgiving too!

    PS PS Not sure if you have time. But I have an interesting, different kind of "Linky" going on that I thought you might want to know about, on Cater-Hater

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