How You Were Meant To Parent

A message in our series How You Always Meant to Parent. We are becoming the parents we always intended to be!
Find the rest of the messages in this series here.

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I think every young parent can identify with watching someone parent before you have kids, and thinking about how you will do it different, you will do it right, AND then you have kids and you realize everything you didn’t know that you didn’t know.

When I talk to you about Parenting How You Always meant to parent, I’m not talking about parenting like you though you would parent before you actually knew what it was like to have kids…

No, instead I’m talking about that feeling that you had when you first held your child and you had this amazing mix of wonder and fear. You had this uncertainty about what the days ahead would look like, but the powerful certainty that you loved this child and would do anything and everything for them.

I remember sitting in a hospital room visiting with a new mom, and she was telling me about how her life was different now and she would start walking with Jesus so that she could be a great example for her kids…

Life happens. We make it through the phase of no sleep, just glad to still have our sanity and then we go from phase to phase of their development always feeling like we are trying to catch up.

We always have good intentions about how we’ll read with our kids, solid plans on how we’ll discipline, defined time limits on screens, and TV….

Meanwhile, time is slipping by faster and faster… You look at old photos, facebook memories, and suddenly they seem so big now because you see how small they were….

I want to talk to you about getting to that place where you always intended to be as a parent. I want to talk to you about How You Always Meant to Parent.

I’m really excited to talk to you about parenting over the next few weeks, for a few reasons.

  1. The breakdown of parenting has had major impact on our society.

It’s been a couple of years ago, but I was listening to this study that was being covered on the freakonomics podcast.

“It’s about a program called Pathways to Education, which came out of a community health center in Regent Park,  a housing project in Toronto. Pathways to Education was run by Carolyn Acker.”

Here’s what I realized about halfway through this study. They were parenting these kids. They were producing interventions, giving rewards, and doing the stuff of basic solid parenting.

  1. One of the most important factors in determining a person’s success is his or her parents.

A lot of studies have been done of the things that contribute to the success of students and people in general. There are studies that show how much importance schools, neighborhood, proximity to public parks, public libraries, etc.

People freak over this stuff. Look at a parent who has worked hard to get their kid into the best school district. (real estate listings list the district…)

  1. As parents, we are positioned to make the greatest influence upon our kids.

There is so much that is outside of our control about the world that our kids are growing up in. We don’t get to control the media. We don’t get to control the types of homes their classmates come from.

We have more ability than every before to keep our kids safe, but we have less power than ever to protect them from the influence of culture.

However, the greatest influence in their lives is us, and we have 100% control over that. While I can’t control the culture, the other kids on the playground, or the world in general, I can absolutely control what kind of parent I am. In fact, I’m the only person who can control that….

I believe that deep in each parent there is this desire to parent well. I believe that’s not just motivated by our love for our kids, but something that was placed there by God.

How you always meant to parent points to how you were meant to parent, or

How you always meant to parent points to the way you were designed to parent.

Proverbs 22:6

You were designed to parent from a place of personal relationship with God.

Every major passage of scripture on parenting supposes a relationship with God, and not only supposes them, but lays them out with clear direction.

Deut 6 tells us how to train our children in the ways of the Lord, and it follows the Shema which says, love the Lord God with all your heart, mind and strenght.

Eph 6 has instructions to parents and children, which follow instructions for marriage in Ephesians 5, but both chapters are built upon the premise of the book which is our position in Christ.

Here in Proverbs, we are given a piece of advice.

(Proverbs are wisdom, but they aren’t promises)

Raise up a child “in the way” he should go…

The word for in the way, or on the path, it is used to refer to stops along a path… wells or foutains on the roadway….

The design is that children will grow up in the way that they will go on their own. The idea here is getting them started on right path by raising them in that path.

We are not called to tell them about the path, to point the path out to them, but rather we are called to raise them on that path.

Raising a believer is not a matter of telling them, but walking along with them, alongside of them….

You can’t walk alongside someone on a path if you are not on the same path.

There are 2 practical reasons for this…
Walking and running alongside of them builds momentum.

They don’t have the momentum on their own.


Parenting is hard and you need all the grace you can get.

(Oxygen Mask)

The same path that will lead them to peace and grace will lead you through peace and grace along the way!