The Paramount Focus of Parenting

We often ask children what they want to be when they grow up. What are they aspiring to? What do they want to achieve? As parents, we also have desired outcomes for their lives—what we want them to be—and devote various resources and time toward achieving those outcomes. Think of the many hours we set aside for our children’s academic, sports, musical achievements, etc. However, we must never lose sight of what is most important for their lives—what they NEED to be more than anything else—and prioritize this above all other endeavors.

Consider these words from Paul David Tripp:

If we could wish one thing for our children, what would it be? Deeper than houses, cars, jobs, and mates, more fundamental than the location and situation, what kind of person are we working so hard to produce? Deeper than where they are and what they will do, what do we want them to be?

David captures what should be the paramount focus of all of our parenting efforts as he describes his own desires.

One thing I ask of the LORD,

     this is what I seek:

that I may dwell in the house of the LORD

     all the days of my life,

to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD

     and to seek him in his temple. (Ps. 27:4)

 

How lovely is your dwelling place,

     O LORD Almighty!

My soul yearns, even faints,

     for the courts of the LORD;

my heart and my flesh cry out

     for the living God.

Even the sparrow has found a home,

     and the swallow a nest for herself,

     where she may have her young–

a place near your altar,

     O LORD Almighty, my King and my God.

Blessed are those who dwell in your house;

     they are ever praising you. . .

Better is one day in your courts

     than a thousand elsewhere;

I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God

     than dwell in the tents of the wicked. (Ps. 84:1-4, 10)


What David expresses in colorful Old Testament language is a heart for God. Above all else, this is the goal of our parenting efforts…We cannot let ourselves elevate any other quality over this one. We cannot be too busy to invest in seeing this developed. We cannot follow the cultural norms that elevate education and career far above everything else; the Bible would say that someone who has lived only to be successful in these things has been a fool. This goal of a heart for God reflects the purpose for our creation as human beings.

(Age of Opportunity: A Biblical Guide to Parenting Teens, copyright© 2001, pages 169-170)

What would it look like, in practical terms, to make this the paramount focus in parenting? What would it look like in our homes? In our churches? Would serious, intentional, biblical discipleship require more of our family’s limited time and resources? Might it prompt us to prayerfully consider giving up or minimizing time spent on lesser activities?

These are the types of questions Truth78 seeks to address. We want to equip both home and church with resources that aim children and youth toward having a heart for God, through faith in Christ.

To learn more about our vision for the faith of the next generations, watch these inspirational videos by Pastor David Michael and Sally Michael.

Written by Jill Nelson

Jill Nelson

Jill Nelson is a wife, mother, grandmother, teacher, and author. She has taught Sunday School for over 20 years and writes God-centered curriculum for Truth78.

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