We live in a society where we do things out of necessity. As parents, parenting has become a routine of waking up, sending the kids to school, cleaning the house, doing piles of laundry, preparing meals, only to do the same things all over again the next day. For working parents, it’s the constant cycle of going to work every day. Only to come home too tired to play with our little ones (even as we want to).
Most moms did all these because we knew we needed to do them. Out of love for our family, we consider the endless duties we need to accomplish. And let’s admit it: a lot of times we focused on them a little bit too much that they tend to be done out of obligation.
The good thing is that as parents, we have the ability to rise above this cycle. We can choose to go beyond the necessary duties. To have the choice to be more purposeful in our tasks. Or choose to take on daily tasks with heart and with purpose. We can choose to live out intentional parenting.
In the scriptures, Martha was flooded with work, and there’s nothing wrong with that. God calls us to serve others, right? What did she missed out on? She must have been focused on being “too busy”, that she unknowingly did them because she had to.
We, mothers, tend to be like Martha a lot of times. Due to the seemingly endless duties that we face. There, somewhere along the way, we lose heart. We let go of the joy and enthusiasm in the service that we do. Yes, we love our family. Yet oftentimes we forget our purpose.
This is why we need to remind ourselves of the beauty of intentional parenting. Being intentional in our parenting is aiming to build solid connections with our children. It is seeing parenting not as a “job”. But as a relationship where we want to grow and nurture. And taking every moment with our children as an opportunity to connect with them. It is turning each task into acts of love, assuring and securing our children that they are loved and cared for.
For us to be intentional in our ways, we must have a clear vision of the character we want our children to have. How do we want our children to treat each person they meet? In what way do we want our children to respond to both joyful and challenging situations?
This character must start with us parents. If we are truly intentional, we will live lives of goodness, humility, responsibility, and integrity. We can show these even in small ways. Speaking kind words at all times. Being patient even amidst the terrible traffic. Treating helpers and janitors with respect. Keeping our promises. These plant seeds of goodness in the lives of our children.
Being intentional almost means being present. It is one thing to be there around your children, yet it is another thing to be truly present with them. This means to pay attention to their countless stories, to seek answers to their silly questions, to comfort them in their moments of pain, and to rejoice with them in their moments of joy. It means putting down our phones, setting aside the things that steal our time away from them, and truly spending time with them. This will be our crystal clear way of saying to our children that we love them and we want to be there for them.
Intentional parenting is a messy, wonderful, challenging, and beautiful decision to make. A lot of sacrifices must be made if we want to pursue it. Intentional parenting is parenting with purpose. What will be the fruit of it? Children living purpose-filled lives. What could be more beautiful than seeing our children sharing goodness through their words and actions. Serving others wholeheartedly. And living out integrity and honesty at all times, and using their gifts and talents for the glory of God?
This is the beauty of intentional parenting.
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