9 Jan, 2012

Developing a Parenting Vision- Part 1- Which type of journey will you take?

There are two ways to take a trip.

You can…

#1- Pack a suitcase. Fill up your car with gas. Jump in the car and drive without a map or a firm destination in mind. The joy is in the journey. Turn down roads that look appealing. See the sights. Drive until you run out of energy or gas… whichever comes first. When the car has come to a complete stop, ask yourself, “Do I like it here in _____ville?” Perhaps you’ll find yourself happily touring a beautiful little gem of a town. Or perhaps, for one reason of another, you will find yourself disappointed in the destination.

or, you can…

#2- Pick a destination. Get a map. Pray for direction and protection as you plot out the route. Fill up the tank with gas. Choose to drive on the roads that are highlighted on the map- not derailed by unmarked routes that merely look interesting. Discover that there is still joy in the journey. Deal with road construction and other setbacks that make your trip “not as perfect as originally planned.” Smile. You’ve arrived at your destination.

Both of these trips have something in common. No matter which way you travel, you will end up somewhere. The question is, “Will you end up somewhere on purpose?”

To be honest, if we’re just talking about a road trip, I would be drawn to option #1. It’s adventurous and free-spirited. Ending up in a crummy town could be a fun way to make memories- even if they’re not “fond” memories until a few years from now.

But, the journey I’m talking about today is parenthood. And much more is at stake on this journey than on a vacation. But the choice in deciding how we will end up at our destination is very similar to taking a road trip.

Some parents will choose an end destination. They have a parenting vision. They have a goal of where they would like to see their kids end up 10, 20, even 50 years from now. They may even have a goal for the legacy they will leave for their grandchildren and great-grandchildren. The daily decisions that they make are based on whether or not each choice will bring them closer to their desired destination.

Some parents will not begin with a particular end in mind.  They will hop in the car and drive through parenthood, and make decisions turn by turn- based on intrigue, desired happiness or urgency- but not  vision. And when their children are grown, they may be very happy with how everything turned out. Or, they may wish they had a destination in mind when they first set out on the journey.

Where there is no vision, the people perish… Proverbs 28:19 KJV

When people do not accept divine guidance, they run wild… Proverbs 28:19 NLT

My husband and I are only 8 years into our parenting journey, but we take this caution from Proverbs seriously. Where there is no vision, no divine guidance… there is trouble and the threat of death. This verse helped us to see that we need a God-given vision for the future of our family. We are asking the Lord to give us not only a godly vision for our children, but for the generations to follow.

Picturing the end destination will help us to make parenting decisions that line up with God’s desires for our kids.

There are two ways to take a trip. Which journey will you choose?




1 Comment

  • Love this concept…great way to articulate it. I’m driving towards a destination personally…you can take fun off the beaten path detours then return to the path chosen too…I’ve already gotten lost a few times even with good directions ;)

So, what do you think?