First, let me start by telling you what isn’t on that list. You will not find anything about how much money you spend on education, how much time you sit on the sidelines at soccer games, or even how many books you read to your kids at bedtime. Although those things will give your child a great foundation, they’re not at the top of this list of what it takes to be a great parent.
These two things however are paramount to parenting children of any age successfully.
- Are you inspired by your relationship with God?
- Are you inspired by your relationship with your spouse?
That’s it. Let me explain why.
There are two indisputable truths about your children.
- Children are intuitive. They can smell a fake a mile away. Starting from a few months old, children can sense a great deal. They are built to feel you, to emulate you– and when they’re old enough, to decide whether or not they want to be like you.
- Your children will follow inspiration. Yes, trends might be fun, peers can have influence, but nothing gets a child motivated, ready to jump and excited about life more than a role model who’s inspired.
Think back to teachers you had growing up. Only one or two will stand out as being great. And it’s always the ones who were themselves inspired about life, inspired in their relationships. These are the influential people in our lives, and parents can be influential if they’re able to answer an emphatic “yes!” to the questions above.
If we fail these tests, live a life uninspired by our relationships with God and our spouse, our intuitive children will know it, and our parenting will be discounted.
As soon as what you are marketing goes on sale, there is no stopping the slide. Pretty soon, it turns into Blue Light Special around the house, and then-off to the clearance rack.
Children want to be inspired, they want to be a part of something great, but if you yourself are uninspired, you are going to find that its impossible to lead them anywhere. The truth is “Because I told you so” only lasts for a while.
Are your kids inspired by your two most important relationships today?