Significance. Who doesn’t want to live a life of significance? Look throughout history and you’ll see men and women who lived significant lives and some who missed the mark. Which do you remember the most? Those who lived significant lives, of course. I think we all strive for significance. The question is, do our actions and our decisions lead us towards living meaningful lives? Our thoughts and words have a purpose, but our choices and actions reveal our true aim in life.
The question has to be raised at some point, what is our aim when it comes to parenting? Is it happiness for our children? Is it success? There are so many potential occupations and possible objects to aim for when it comes to parenting that we may lose sight of what matters.
When I was in middle school, I went on a camping trip in northern Wisconsin. One of the best things I did was archery. I loved the idea of shooting a target. Deep down inside I hoped to become a modern-day Robin Hood fighting off the villainous evil men in my town. The issue, I never actually learned archery. It wasn’t enough for me to just have a bow and some arrows. That didn’t make me successful. During this camping trip, some of our leaders started an archery range. They gave me some basic instructions and feedback.
One of the first things they told me was to stand so that I was in line with the target. They told me that being in line with the target would increase my chances of actually hitting the target.
They taught me how to hold the bow, load the arrows and how to rotate the bow elbow outwards to avoid the string burning my arm. One of the things I remember the clearest was the concept of looking directly at the target. My aim was crucial when it actually came to hitting the target.
Aim matters. It’s crucial. What we aim for is most likely what we’ll end up hitting or accomplishing. So the question is, what are we aiming for while parenting our children? Are we aiming for their happiness, are we aiming for them to be college ready or do we want them to hit a totally different target? What we strive for is most likely what we’ll hit or accomplish.
Instead of sharing my opinion on how you should raise your child, I'd like to encourage you to dream big. Think to the day that you become a grandparent. What kind of parent are you hoping will raise your grandchildren?
Are you hoping for a hardworking, faithful parent? Are you expecting your grandchildren will be raised by maturing adults?
The challenge starts when you start to back engineer the process. Dreaming of what kind of parent will raise your grandchildren is excellent. The reality is, for the most part, we parent as a reaction to how we were parented.
For most people, the most significant thing we'll accomplish will be in who we raise. It's easy to get caught up in believing that what we achieve or how much money we put into our bank accounts will reveal our significance in life. But it's worth repeating, for most people the most significant thing we'll accomplish will be in who we raise.
The reality of life seems so simple. The children we are raising today will get older. It doesn't guarantee they will be mature. Accomplishing a maturity is an option, not a requirement. As parents, we should set our children up for success in the accomplishment of maturity.
If you want your future grandchildren to be raised by faithful, hardworking and maturing parents, that process starts for the most part in how you raise your grandchildren's parent.
Photo by Laura Crowe on Unsplash
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RE.THINK Church values being a church that is casual. Casual Church goes far beyond the way we dress, it's more about we expect people to take this journey at their own pace. We are here to journey with everyone. So we've created a blog so people can check us out before they show up for a service.