How to Parent With Purpose and Not Leave Out the Important Stuff

parenting with purpose

Never in history has there been such a wealth of information and resources available to parents as they raise their children and can focus on parenting with purpose. There are countless parenting books and blogs with more recommendations and suggestions coming out daily.

While I’ve read fantastic parenting books and insightful blogs, none compare to the book of Proverbs. The study of Proverbs is a must for wise parenting with purpose.

The writer of most of Proverbs is Solomon, the wisest man to have ever lived (1 Kings 3:11-12). God inspired Solomon to write the book of Proverbs – a collection of short, pithy statements for wise living. As a matter of fact, many of the Proverbs fit the Twitter requirement of 140 characters or less. #relevant

While all scripture is useful for teaching and correction (2 Timothy 3:16), the book of Proverbs is uniquely suited for parents training up children. It is the passing of wisdom from one generation to the next.

Each time I read through the book of Proverbs, I have a visual picture of Solomon taking one last opportunity to relay wisdom to his son before the young man strikes out on his own. I see Solomon’s hands on his son’s shoulders, looking at him eye-to-eye as he makes one last plea for his son to seek wisdom from the Lord in all of his dealings. The young man will not have his father’s protection or guidance – he will be making his own decisions and charting his own course.

And the tone of Proverbs is serious — Solomon is serious. His son’s future (and very life) is at stake with every decision, every relationship and every temptation. Solomon is stern in his directives, not because he’s a tyrant, but because he is a loving father who wants all to go well with his son.

Solomon knows how beautiful, seductive and enticing sin can be. He is pleading with his son to open his eyes, be alert and recognize foolishness for what it is and have no part of it.

As a parent, I identify with Solomon in this picture. I mentally fast forward to the day I will send my kids out into the world. I’ll have my hands on their shoulders, looking eye-to-eye and pleading with them to seek wisdom from the Lord in all their dealings. I will want to make sure they know truth, eschew foolishness and avoid being seduced by the temptations that will come from every direction.

While sending our kids out into the world is a scary thought, there is good news for parents of young children: We’ve got time.

But the time is now to train up our children in the way they should go (Proverbs 22:6).

Our kids are in our homes and teachable. We, as parents, are the most influential people in their lives and we want to be parenting with purpose. We still have time to impart wisdom.

But we can’t impart what we don’t possess.

As parents, we must be dedicated to spiritual disciplines such as studying the Bible and praying. We must diligently seek Jesus and introduce our children to Him.

Here are spiritual disciplines you can incorporate today:

• Read a chapter of Proverbs a day in October. There are 31 chapters in Proverbs, ideal for reading a chapter a day for a month.

• Commit to praying daily. Solomon’s father, King David, prayed that Solomon would have a “whole-hearted devotion” to the Lord (1 Chronicles 29:19). I echo that prayer for our kids as well as for my husband and me.

• Look for ways to infuse wisdom into daily life with your children. Talk about wise decisions and foolish decisions — and why each fits into its category (Proverbs contrasts the two beautifully). A watch-out here is that some decisions are neither wise or foolish, they are merely preferences (for rule-following people pleasers, this can get sticky, so make sure you leave a category for inconsequential preferences, like vanilla vs. chocolate).

We just launched our kids into another school year, but one day we will launch our kids into the world. We’ll wonder if we did everything we could as parents. We might second-guess decisions and identify regrets. None of us is perfect, but take heart, neither were Solomon, the wisest man to ever live, or David, a man after God’s own heart (1 Samuel 13:14).

But we have today. And today we will choose parenting with purpose. We have time left to make a difference in the trajectory of each of our arrows as we aim them into the world.

If your children area still at home, you’ve got time. Use it wisely.

Follow me on Twitter @juliehilde as I’ll be tweeting a Proverb a day in September!

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The arrows pictured above are available on Etsy here.

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Julie Hildebrand
Julie is a wife to one man and mother to three elementary school age children. She grew up in a small town in Texas and now lives in one of the largest cities in the country. Her small-town upbringing provides a calming backdrop to her sometimes hectic life in the big city. Julie blogs about marriage, motherhood, and faith at her blog and you can also connect with her on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.