What if God’s dream for your children isn’t about their happiness?
Now, that’s not to say that God doesn’t care about their happiness; He does. But what if their happiness is only a gracious by-product of His primary agenda for their lives? What if we, as parents, are unconsciously working against God’s best plan for our kids?
That would mean that we need a completely different parenting paradigm to raise effective kids in this defective, hostile world.
Bringing up confident, Christ-centered kids in a culture that is at odds with scriptural priorities is no easy task. As parents, we often act based on cultural cues and pressures we don’t even recognize. There are many parenting myths that run rampant in our culture.
God says that my goal as a parent is not to make my kids happy; but to make my kids holy—set apart for God.
Our culture’s focus on making our kids happy is dangerously shortsighted. The result is children who constantly strive for more and better. Happiness is always just out of reach, because more and better is never enough. They are never content.
In contrast, the by-product of holiness is joy. If our focus is on cultivating the character of God in our children, we’ll be setting them up for the kind of happiness that comes from genuine, deep joy—both now and forever.
This month we begin a series called Effective Parenting in a Defective World. In it, we’ll examine some powerful, timeless principles from God’s Word that help parents prepare their kids for the world they live in. I pray that as you learn how to apply a Biblical paradigm for parenting, that God would expose popular myths and equip you to develop kids that truly stand out from the crowd.
Keep Pressin’ Ahead,
Founder & Teaching Pastor, Living on the Edge
Chip Ingram is the CEO and teaching pastor of Living on the Edge, an international teaching and discipleship ministry. A pastor for over thirty years, Chip has a unique ability to communicate truth and challenge people to live out their faith. He is the author of many books, including The Real God, Culture Shock and The Real Heaven. Chip and his wife, Theresa, have four grown children and twelve grandchildren and live in California.More Articles by Chip