Helping Parents be Eternity Minded Instead of 10-20 Year Minded
Do you ever wonder why parents will send their kids to a sports game and miss church without a second thought?
Or be focused more on their kids’ grades than their kids’ spiritual growth?
Or why doesn’t it seem important to parents to pray with their kids and read the Bible as a family?
These are questions I wonder about often.
I love my kids, and I want them to be successful, but the reality is they probably aren’t going to be professional athletes (and even if they are, missing a few games in their formative years isn’t going to change that).
This is obvious to me, so why can’t other parents see it?
I think much of the reason is that parents have a flawed perspective on parenting.
Parents believe the goal of parenting is 10-20 years long.
The goal is getting their kids in the best college, for the least amount of money, so their kids can be the most successful adults.
And that isn’t an evil goal; I want my kids to be successful adults, but it certainly isn’t the most important goal.
The most important goal of parenting is having kids enter into eternity in heaven.
After I’m gone, all I want is to see my kids join me in heaven, and their kids join them, and on and on and on for every generation after me.
I have other goals as a father, but none as important as eternity.
If every parent in the church would gain that perspective, so much would change.
Sports and grades wouldn’t seem as important.
Pushing kids harder and harder to achieve, wouldn’t seem as important.
Hanging out with God’s people at church would become so much more vital.
Reading and absorbing God’s word would become essential.
Love would abound so much more freely from parents to children.
Of course this is much easier said than done.
If it was easy, we wouldn’t be where we are today.
But it’s not too late, we as the church can still help parents change their perspective.
At the church where I serve, we’re still working on a larger strategy, but one thing we’re currently doing is simply casting this vision to parents.
The first Sunday of every month we have a family service; basically it’s a service designed around the entire family (to learn more about this, check out this blog post).
We open & close the service by casting vision for an eternal perspective.
If a family service isn’t a possibility for you, ask your senior Pastor if you can have 3 minutes in service one Sunday every month.
Because having an eternal perspective isn’t just for parents with kids in high school and under; it’s for people who don’t have kids yet, and parents who’s kids are out of the house, it’s for the whole congregation.
He’s a general script that we say:
What is your goal as a parent? Is to just get through the day intact?
Or to get to the weekend? Maybe your goal is to get your kids into a
good college, so they can be successful adults? At Centerpointe, this question
of parenting goals is something we think about often because if you have an end goal in
mind, it’s much easier to parent toward that goal. And as we’ve thought about
what the most important goal is, we realized something. Often we have a 10-20
year perspective as parents. We want our kids to be successful after they leave
the house: get a good job with plenty of pay, buy a nice house, marry an
awesome spouse and have beautiful kids. But what if instead of a 10-20 year
perspective, we took on an eternal perspective? What if our biggest goal as
parents was to see our kids in heaven with us, and our kids’ kids, and their kids’ kids?
Don’t get me wrong, I want my kids to become successful adults, that isn’t a
bad goal, but it isn’t the most important either. Success will pass, jobs will come
and go, homes will rot away, and at the end of the day only the eternal soul will
remain. And how we steward that soul as parents is the most important thing.
So our challenge for you is this: be parents who have an eternal perspective on
parenting. Because wouldn’t it be awesome if every generation after you joined
you in heaven?
How do you help parents have an eternal perspective? Leave a comment.
And if this will helpful to you, please pass it along to others by sharing.
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