Some might think they will be successful if their children are well-educated and have a successful career. Others may view themselves as successful if they have been able to provide an abundance of material possessions for their children, so that the children don’t have to “suffer hardships” that the parents had to endure during their growing up years. Others are naive enough to think that they are successful merely because their children are attractive physically, or they have great athletic ability.
The fact is: successful parenting has nothing to do with all of these physical accomplishments, but it has everything to do with preparing our children for eternity.
Speaking of his spiritual children, John said in 3 John 4, “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.”
Sadly, most parents do not experience this joy. According to a study conducted by Lifeway Research, 70% of young adults stopped attending church regularly for at least a year. As grim as those statistics are, I believe that there are a growing number of young adults who long for something different. Many of you have watched friends and family suffer because they have not chosen proper Biblical values for their families and they have suffered the consequences of their poor choices. Maybe you’ve experienced problems in your own family and you have come to the point where enough is enough – you want something different, something better for your family, and you are willing to make some drastic changes in order to make things better.
Have you dreamed about being a mom? Maybe you are not yet married, and you are praying for God to bless you with a godly man and a family of your own. Are you preparing yourself NOW to be a successful mom? Did you know that there are many things you ought to be working on NOW in order to be that successful mom in the FUTURE? If you are already a mother, what are you doing to train your children to “walk in the truth?” Are you preparing your sons to be spiritual leaders and helping them to develop a heart that will enable them to love their future wife life Christ loves the church (Eph. 5:25)? Are you training your daughters to embrace the role that God has especially designed for her (Prov. 31:10-31; 1 Tm. 5:14; Titus 2:4)? Are YOU embracing the role that God designed especially for you?
You may or may not agree with everything said here, but I ask you to be honest with yourself and be willing to look at the Scriptures. The Bible tells us that when we do things God’s way, people will think we are strange. I guarantee you that parenting with God’s plan will definitely cause people in the world to think you are strange, weird, and different. Are you ready to be weird? Stick around.* 🙂
By Joy Jensen
Joy and her husband George live and serve as missionaries in Iringa, Tanzania, East Africa. They have four children, and a much-loved son-in-law. You can follow her adventures (and find many wonderful posts) at her blog.
Editor’s Note: Joy is also this month’s Missionary of the Month. You can learn more about her, her family and their work by clicking here.
* This was the beginning of a series. To see the rest of the series (there are seven parts), visit http://alifeofjoy.blogspot.com