Although we would never admit it, when it comes to parenting our children, it can be very easy to put things on auto-pilot. As parents, we want the best for our kids, and we strive to actively love and care for them. But if you're like me, real life often gets in the way of our desires. When the day-to-day grind comes in with its endless tasks lists, countless distractions, and continuous running to and fro, we put active and caring parenting on the back burner. What we end up trending towards is parenting by default - putting in less time and energy instead of more. We start doing less, despite our best intentions.
I don't know about you, but I need a parenting wake-up call. Bill Allison of Cadre Ministries regularly writes about parenting on his blog, Cup O' Joe with Bill. He has some hilarious takes on parenting (like this one here), but more importantly, he provides the wake-up call that I need on a regular basis. In his post "The Disciple-Making Dad," he challenges us dads to be active players in raising our kids (instead of passively hoping that school teachers and youth pastors can do the job for us). Bill does a great job of balancing his challenges with encouragement,
"Great news dad. You don’t have to be perfect to be a Deuteronomy 6 disciplemaking dad. You do have to be present AND engaged though."
What our kids need, more than a perfect parent, is a parent who is willing to disciple them in the every day moments.
My wife regularly reads Jess Connell's blog, Grow on Purpose. In a recent blog post, she shared about some of the struggles that moms go through. I love that she fights the cultural norm of go-go-go and says it's fine (and even good) to spend time with your kids. She says:
"It is a HUGE thing to 'just' spend time with your children. Christ Himself spent three entire years with 12 grown men and some of them still took a while to really get it."
Take some time just to be with your kids. Look for potential disciple-making moments, but also realize that intentional focused time is one of the best things you can do, regardless of any cool stories or outcomes.
Here's to waking up and parenting to the best of our abilities.