Intentional Parents Raise Purpose-filled Children

By Mandi Hart

 

 

Parenting with intention doesn’t come easily. I heard many parents remark how busy they seem to be and how hard it is to carve out time to intentionally parent their children.

 

The word intentional means ‘done on purpose or deliberate’. Parenting with intention is just that, raising children into adults in a purposeful manner. There is a purpose to your parenting, to making tough decisions, helping your children develop strength and character in a world that pulls at them every single day to choose an easier path.

 

Now, when I speak about parenting with intention, it comes with a caveat. I don’t mean that you structure your whole life around your children, or that it becomes your sole focus. Instead, I’d like to explore it from a ‘done on purpose’ perspective. Intentional parenting directs your attention to responding proactively to your children instead of reactively. It means considering the ages and stages your children are in and what you can do to love them well during that specific phase. It also means taking care of yourself so that you have enough capacity for all the family challenges that arise.

 

Here are five points to help you parent with intention:

 

Firstly, pray for and with your children. Consider the promises the Lord has given you for your children. How can you pray that promise or Scripture over their lives? And when you pray for your children, pray the largest prayers you can – don’t ask God for crutches for your children, ask Him for wings for them. “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” Mark 11:24

 

Pray for them regularly and pray WITH them. If you haven’t done this before, be bold and take the step to pray with your children. You can try it by praying for them at the start of the day. It doesn’t need to be a long prayer. Consider praying in the car on the way to school or a sport’s match or dance practice. Keep your eyes open as you pray. Pray for them before a big test or when they are nervous. Pray with them through all the phases of life. Cultivate a culture of praying with your children.

 

Secondly, what age is your child at right now? What do they need from you? Are you in a nurturing phase or a commander-in-chief stage? Do you need to ask more questions and let them experience inevitable consequences? You might need to adapt your parenting style as your children grow into young adults. Intentional parents take time to think about the most appropriate parenting style required and learn about it if need be.

 

Thirdly, seek support and counsel if needed. We all need each other. The adage is as true today as it was years ago. It really does take a village to raise a child. It might look different today than years ago, but it’s still relevant. This website is filled with great parenting resources, and most of them are free.

 

Fourth, how can you take care of yourself and relationships around you? Your children model themselves off you, and when they see you investing in your own growth and life, and living in community, it will encourage them to do the same. I’ve chatted with many parents who don’t know what they enjoy anymore and are so drained that life is a burden. Take care of yourself; you are important too!

 

Finally, intentional parents live with hope. Hope is future-focused. What do you need to do to keep hope alive in your heart? Remember the promise in Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

 

My encouragement to you is to make a decision to live intentionally day by day and in doing so, raise adults who can indeed change the world.