A Profile Of Your Arrows
They say that in parenting, the days are long and the years are short. Even in these early years, I can feel the truthfulness of the saying. Our kids are changing so quickly, reaching new milestone after new milestone. I'm certain that one day, we'll blink, and they'll be ready to launch from our home.
So with the end in view, my husband and I determined that this once-in-a-lifetime journey could use a little roadmap. We've begun asking ourselves the big question:
By God's grace, what kind of young adults do we hope to launch into the world for the sake of the Kingdom?
The idea is that we would prayerfully paint a profile of the young men and women who leave our home and occupy the world as adults. From this ultimate picture, we can work backward and draw out some of the intentional patterns, traditions, and special experiences we'd like to share as a family over the years, all aimed at cultivating the qualities we hope to see in our children.
A few principles we want to keep us anchored as we develop such a profile:
God is sovereign over our children, not us. We are but stewards, and have no ultimate power to effect the outcomes of their lives. This should make us humble in all of our efforts, and prayerful. So prayerful.
God has specifically called us to assume loving responsibility over our specific children. It is our joyful burden to carry - parenting our children to live for and before the Lord.
Do all things with the chief end in mind.
As you develop your ideal profile of arrows launched from your home, consider some of these questions:
What character qualities do we want our children to embody?
These qualities are specific to the heart, the moral character of a man or woman. These will stem largely from their heart posture before God himself. Make a list of virtues that you esteem, and that you see Scripture esteem.
What worldview do we want our children to have?
The answer seems obvious - we want our children to have a biblical worldview as they walk in the world and make continual sense of it. But what exactly constitutes a biblical worldview? Make a list of core truths and principles.
What intellectual tools do we want to equip our children with?
We know from God's Word that our true battle is not against flesh and blood, but "against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness..." (Eph 6:12). Knowing that Christ's enemy is set out to deceive and distort truth to ensnare God's people, what tools of discernment should our children be equipped with to avoid being tossed to and fro?
What practical life skills do we hope our children to be equipped with?
Though any practical life skill can be learned in adulthood, it is a great benefit to leave the home equipped. We were made to cultivate the earth and manage our households with wisdom. What practical life skills do you consider crucial to wise living in a modern world for the sake of the Kingdom?
For these guiding questions and more, take a look into my free Profile of Your Arrows guide. I pray that this tool would spur you on to greater encouragement and vision for the role you can play in your children's lives.