For a lot of us, we didn’t have the greatest parents in the world. We come from broken homes. We didn’t have a dad who led the way, who was strong, sensitive, biblical, and who blazed the trail. We didn’t see a loving relationship between our mom and dad. So, if we wanted a model of what it looks like to be a great parent, most of us didn’t get one.
Not only that, there are so many voices today screaming about what it means to be a good parent. Techniques and advice come at us from everywhere – the news, magazine articles, blogs, and social media. It seems like everyone has an opinion, and everyone is an “expert.”
Amidst all the confusion and frustration, thankfully, there is a way to find out! And God has the answer.
In Psalm 127:3 it says: “Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him.”
Let’s be honest, some days your kids don’t always feel like a gift and some days they don’t feel like a reward. But they are a gift from God — a sacred stewardship. As parents, we first need to remember that we’ve been entrusted by God with our children.
Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their opponents in court. (v.4-5)
Second, just like an arrow has a purpose – it’s to be launched and sent – our kids have a purpose, too. An arrow is also something that needs a clear target and preparation to get there.
So our job as parents is to discern: What is God’s “target” – His purpose – for my child? And like an arrow, how does my child need to be shaped? What preparation does my child need in order to reach that target?
God’s will for our kids is not just that they become sweet, perfect, and happy people, and everything in their life comes out right. God’s purpose for our kids is greater than this.
His purpose is that they become like Christ.
We need to realize that our goal is not to release our “arrows” so that everything turns out the way we want it to, but so they hit the target that God has for your son or daughter.
Why? Because the greatest joy your kids will ever experience is being in the center of God’s will.
Many sincere, God-loving Jesus followers have very subtly and unconsciously tried to help their children achieve the American dream instead of God’s dream for their lives. Their schedules are packed and their pace is unsustainable. They do this to give their kids the “good life” and to prepare them for the greatest opportunities.
But God has a dream for your child, too. Make His dream your primary target.
It might feel counter-intuitive, and it might be a different path than what you had in mind. But if your child is holy and Christlike, they will live a life more fulfilled than they could ever live on their own.
To learn more about God’s plan for your children, check out the series, House or Home Parenting Edition.
Founder & Teaching Pastor, Living on the Edge
Chip Ingram is the CEO and teaching pastor of Living on the Edge, an international teaching and discipleship ministry. A pastor for over thirty years, Chip has a unique ability to communicate truth and challenge people to live out their faith. He is the author of many books, including The Real God, Culture Shock and The Real Heaven. Chip and his wife, Theresa, have four grown children and twelve grandchildren and live in California.More Articles by Chip