Hey you! Thank you for trusting me to deliver by coming back to read my posts. I will live up to the promise – trust me! Today I’ll be taking us on a journey of intentional parenting from the perspective of a very favourite Scripture – Deuteronomy Chapter 6, verses 6 through 9.
The phrase ‘intentional parenting’ has recently become so glamorised and it’s such a ‘cool’ way to distinguish yourself as a type of parent that takes the job seriously. It takes a lot to be an intentional parent and a lot of us may have to rethink that title or put in the right measure of work to earn it.
If you achieve everything else in parenting but fail to disciple your children, the world will do the job for you, and you may not like the result. It is our responsibility to equip our children to hold on to Christ in an immoral world.
An over-reliance on Sunday schools, Church activities and Bible clubs is simply lazy parenting and it won’t do the job. Those things are, at best, supplements and not substitutes to parenting.
All-round intentional parenting is by no means an easy task, which is why we must partner with the Holy Spirit and maximize that partnership. The Scripture provides us with direct instructions and parenting models, and one of my favourite Scriptures on this is Deuteronomy 6: 6-9 which states:26
‘Keep these words that I am commanding you today in your heart. Recite them to your children and talk about them when you are at home and when you are away, when you lie down and when you rise. Bind them as a sign on your hand, fix them as an emblem on your forehead, and write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.’
Notice certain key words here – RECITE, TALK, BIND, WRITE
RECITE literally means to repeat aloud from memory. You cannot give what you do not have, and this applies to every area of life, not just parenting. When we lack the foundational knowledge of God and a personal revelation of Him, abdicating the responsibility of Godly parenting becomes more attractive and even compelling. Set aside time to study the word, seek mentors, intentionally grow your knowledge of the word and only then would you know it enough to recite it to your children.
TALK. Notice the pattern shown to us in this Scripture. Conversations about God should not be limited to certain times of the day or certain locations. Resist the norm of ‘allocating’ only morning and evening devotion times to studying/teaching Scripture. A simple hack is to find a way to draw scriptural analogies into your discussions with your children. Whether it is in answering their questions, disciplining them, commending them, you can draw from Scripture. Resist the temptation to conform to the pressure of making your family’s relationship with God a well-kept secret. If there are friends, families, conversations, or places with whom or where you cannot freely express your relationship with God, your children will take the cue. Do not let them believe that this is Okay, retrace your steps. TALK about it EVERYWHERE.
BIND. This is my absolute favourite. It says, “Bind them as a sign on your hand, fix them as an emblem on your forehead!” Parenting is one context where you will not get away with saying one thing and doing another. Ultimately, children will more readily do what they observe more than what they’re told. Imagine having this sign on your forehead – BOLD, UNABASHED, AUDACIOUS. Refuse to be that Christian who thinks it’s okay to bend a little in certain situations and conversations. Maintain your stand. Do not send mixed signals to your children.
WRITE. Ever visited a place where the sign ‘beware of dogs’ or ‘CCTV in operation’ was displayed? If you’re like me, you’d comport yourself and even consider calling your host to escort you into the premises once you sight the former. Your family’s Christian status should be a visible and permanent part of your identity. Teach your children that they have the image of Christ and must represent Him on ALL occasions. When people encounter your family, no matter the context, let them see, perceive, and ascertain where you stand as a family.
An author, in talking about raising children, used the analogy of ‘wet cement’ that hardens with time. Wet cement will ultimately harden, and if you do the right thing, you will achieve your desired results when it hardens but if you don’t, it still hardens anyway and your job becomes much more difficult or near impossible.
There are no perfect human beings and certainly, no perfect parents. However, with the help of the Holy Spirit and intentionality, we can help our children to experience a thriving relationship with God. Put in the work – INTENTIONALLY.
And now to our….
I have been anointed to intentionally raise my Children in a Godly way. I receive the help available to me from the Holy Spirit. I am the parent for the job and I live up to the task. Amen!
Thanks for reading! As always, God bless you.