Discovering our Parenting Goals

Parents do have expectations and goals at what can and should occur in their children. Often these goals are subconscious. We will take a look next on how to better grasp what these silent goals are that are often driving and influencing us.


We should see that the goals we have as a parent for our children greatly influence what we do or do not do. When we begin discovering what we do or say, we can then trace back what it is that we believe. It is a bit difficult when one has not regularly done this, but with a little practice we can get pretty good at it. First, let's learn the principle.


Beliefs are general assumptions about life. In the end we all are a bit philosophical. It used to be that the more one is educated, the more one was able to think and evaluate what he believes.


Goals are those major things that we want to accomplish to live out our beliefs. They are the things that need to be done. Although they are important, we often get distracted with other things.


Actions are those life decisions that specifically cause the belief to be expressed. They end up being what we say, how we do something, what we do, what we spend our money on, etc.

Every parent has assumptions as to what is best for the child. They are probably not aware of these assumptions as they are rarely taught. They are more felt. People more than often pick them up from their culture around them.

Parents also have parenting goals. They come from their parenting assumptions. Parents often can identity what these goals are. "I don't want them to go through what I went through."

Less rare is the ability to see what assumptions these goals are built upon or what is the real consequences of working these goals out in their children's lives.

Parents are most familiar with what they see and say. For instance, they will go without some things so that their children can attend a certain school. They do not always fairly judge what their actions. Sometimes they are too 'hard' on themselves - it has been a long day; sometimes they excuse their sin and anger thinking, 'They deserve it.'

Since we all are thinking, 'goaling' and doing something, it is crucial that we go through a process in which we can discern what is and what isn't biblical. God's ways are the right ways and will wonderfully instruct our children.

Some parenting instructors will expose the philosophical assumptions of the world and show how goals are formed and then the daily decisions they make. This has some good benefits in helping parents know why they feel so antagonistic or strong or wishy washy about certain things they are being taught. The point is, that unless we change what we believe, we will never really change what we do.

We would like to try a variance of this procedure. The scriptures encounter false beliefs but never really go into them. They instead expose where the false belief produces evil word or ways inconsistent with God's Words. We know that many claim to be Christians but still live by a worldly mentality. They are surprised why their children act like the world. Some Christian leaders say it is because of the culture around them, and parents just need to pray hard. Unfortunately, this misses out on the key point.

We find the scriptures teach that children pick up the sins and loves of their parents. As children grow, this truth becomes more and more apparent to the parents. Sins in thei parents are often revealed to them as they see the sin in their child. We have seen fears, worries, indulgence, etc. (better stop here!) just grow up in our children. We ask each other, "Where did they learn that?" The other spouse usually chips in pointing our their own flaws in those same areas! This is what God means in Exodus 20:5-6.

"You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing lovingkindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments. (Exodus 20:5,6, NASB).

The good along with the evil is passed on to our children in an amplifed volume. Our beliefs in life in fact often include many disbeliefs about God and His ways. We are wise in our own eyes and think there is a better way. Because of this God just lets our evil ways pass on to our children. And decades down the road, we are shocked at the results. If we have not dealt with the seed of bitterness, anger, lust, doubt, or rebellion, our children will get it from us.

If we are going to properly train our children, we have to realize it starts with examining our own belief in God and His ways. We have to expose our beliefs, eliminate our doubts, elicit His help, and then instruct our children. On this page we are focusing on exposing our beliefs. Much time has been given to show that we do have such beliefs and given assumptions. Now we need to turn to help us see what they are.

We shall do this by starting with what we can easily recognize. In the above list, we can most easily identify those things that we do. We hardly can be exhaustive, but we can begin and hopefully, we all will catch on the process.

I let my child whine and complain.

The Lord says to give thanks in all things. When we allow our children to complain and fuss, we really do not believe that God's Word is important. More than likely we think we also have the right to fuss when things don't go 'right.' We belief that God is suppose to do what we want rather than do what He wants.

In everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. (1 Thessalonians 5:18).

I scold my children rather than 'spank' or discipline them.

The Lord has told us in numerous places in the Bible to discipline a child with a rod. God has told us this because it is the only way to get the foolishness out of our children before the times they can fully understand things. When I ignore the Lord's command to discipline my children, then I am disobeying Him. It also shows that I care more for my feelings than for the Lord's Word or my child.

He who spares his rod hates his son, But he who loves him disciplines him diligently. (Proverbs 13:24).

I occassionally allow my children to talk back to me.

The Lord tells children to respect and honor their parents. The point is that because they are appointed as an authority over them, they are to respect them. We have to trust God for His guardians and chief influencers in our lives. If I allow my children to treat me as parent in dishonor, then they will treat all authorities, including God, in the same disrespectful way. We must not allow our children to be rude to us.

Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. HONOR YOUR FATHER AND MOTHER (which is the first commandment with a promise), (Ephesians 6:1,2).

If my child fusses, I occassionally give in.

The Lord tells the children to obey the parents rather than the way it often is where parents obey the children! If we give in to their fusses, it won't be long before we give into their demands. We should see where this leads but are often blind to it all. If we are obedient to the Lord, we will enforce our will over theirs because we are being accountable to God. Children need special insight at this stage in their lives and as parents we need to give it to them.

My son, observe the commandment of your father, And do not forsake the teaching of your mother; Bind them continually on your heart; Tie them around your neck. When you walk about, they will guide you; When you sleep, they will watch over you; And when you awake, they will talk to you. (Proverbs 6:20-22).

Are we starting to get the feel of how this works?

We identify the different actions or non-actions that we might take and examine this in light of the Holy Scriptures. We might notice that on many of these items, we have just never known what the scripture says.

A good project would be to go through the book of Proverbs, one chapter each day, and write down everything it says about parenting. What is the proverb saying about parenting? How does our family reflect this principle? What could we do to be more consistent? If you already are doing it, why? Where did you learn it?

We rarely pray and read God's Word as a family.

The Lord desires that parents train their children to worship Him. Most families let entertainment, sports and activities rule their home. Family worship should include the instruction of scripture, prayer and worship in songs. We might think of the patriarchs who preserved their spiritual heritage . Just think what Job did when his sons and daughters were grown up and moved away. I believe when they were all young he traiined them in God's ways.

And it came about, when the days of feasting had completed their cycle, that Job would send and consecrate them, rising up early in the morning and offering burnt offerings according to the number of them all; for Job said, "Perhaps my sons have sinned and cursed God in their hearts." Thus Job did continually. (Job 1:5, NASB).

If my child has a temper tantrum, I eventually give in to him.

The Lord wants us to train self control into the lives of our children. While some might seem it to be constraining, self-control is actually liverating. Those that have no self-control must follow the crowd and live by their lusts. Only those who have been trained can deny ungodly passions and choose to do what is right, loving and kind. Whenever, we give in to the pressuring of a child to get its own way, whether it be through a temper tantrum, bribe or persuasion, we are training them to give preference to what they need. In fact we are basically training them how to yell, howl, cry and hit in order to get what they want even when their parents think it is wrong.

And the people rushed greedily upon the spoil, and took sheep and oxen and calves, and slew them on the ground; and the people ate them with the blood. Then they told Saul, saying, "Behold, the people are sinning against the LORD by eating with the blood." And he said, "You have acted treacherously; roll a great stone to me today." (1 Samuel 14:32,33, NASB).

I get really angry when I spank my children.

The Lord wants us to chastise in love not in anger. Man's anger interferes with the overall process of chastising. When combining anger with the training of a rod, we are sending confusing signals. First of all, the children become terrified at us. Secondly, we are apt to hit, yell, abuse, and say things in wrong ways. The anger of man does not accomplish the righteousness of God. Anger's right part is in motivating us to right action, but once having done that, it should retire. Chastisement needs to lead a child to reconciliation not isolation. Anger confuses the process so that the parent is upset with the child and that the child begrudges the parent's actions. Neither should happen.

This you know, my beloved brethren. But let everyone be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger; for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God. (James 1:19,20, NASB).

When my children see me do something wrong, I don't repent and apologize.

The Lord expects us to act humbly before Him and others. We have often done wrong. When we don't confess our sins, we set up a cause of bitterness. Parents often enforce rules they do not keep themselves. They need to set the standard by their own lives and instruction. When we fail, we apologize and immediately reset the standard.

"Remember therefore from where you have fallen, and repent and do the deeds you did at first; or else I am coming to you, and will remove your lampstand out of its place--unless you repent. (Revelation 2:5).

"Repent therefore; or else I am coming to you quickly, and I will make war against them with the sword of My mouth. (Revelation 2:16).

We don't go to a church too regularly; other things keep coming up.

The Lord command His people to congregate weekly before His throne. We can make excuses for not setting aside the Lord's Day for Him, but they all stand against His clear instruction. When we don't give God absolute priority, the message that is translated down into the hearts of our children is that God is not the most important thing to our lives. Church is not only a place to be instructed but where we serve one another.

And let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more, as you see the day drawing near. (Hebrews 10:24,25, NASB).

Some wonder how one can just do these things. We realize that these paragraphs are very short and they give rise to a host of questions. The questions are good. Write them down. We will be going over more material later and pointing out some references that will help you. But for now, we are shaping our beliefs and activities around God's Word. We must be decisive even if we feel that we don't know how to go about it. There is some questions as to 'how' to do it , but the biggest issue by far is for the parent to change.

We give at least 10% of our income to the Lord before taxes.

We need to trust the Lord. Obedience comes before security and pleasure. We will commit idolatry if we do not rightly follow the Lord's teaching on giving. Our children will also learn to love wealth more than the Lord too if we do not obey Him. Our ways reveal our trusts. When we have little, we will be able to show our children that we really do trust the Lord.

"No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one, and love the other, or else he will hold to one, and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon." (Luke 16:13).

We sometimes buy things we haven't planned to.

The Lord wants us to be good stewards. He doesn't like impulsive buyers. Did you ever buy something that you weren't planning to? Good deal?! What happens is that we corrupt our children by showing them how to let our desires rule our decisions. In the end, we are giving our children a lesson on how desires are good to give into. "We all deserve a little something!"

"You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife or his male servant or his female servant or his ox or his donkey or anything that belongs to your neighbor." And all the people perceived the thunder and the lightning flashes and the sound of the trumpet and the mountain smoking; and when the people saw it, they trembled and stood at a distance. (Exodus 20:17,18).

We give the most stylish things to our children.

The Lord is not concerned about fashion and external things. We often train our children more on how they should look rather than what their hearts should be like. We teach them how to impress the world than live humbly before the Lord. We teach them that it is more important to marry rich than godly. We teach them that one cannot be content with the simple.

And let not your adornment be merely external--braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God. For in this way in former times the holy women also, who hoped in God, used to adorn themselves, being submissive to their own husbands. (1 Peter 3:3-5).

When children keep getting out of bed, I try to coax them to stay in bed and sleep.

The Lord wants us to establish the rules and enforce them. If we listen to their excuses and let them stay up or get out of bed, then we train them to manipulate. We basically are teaching them that the rules are not set and firm but flexible depending on what they feel. Children love this, but it produces insecurity. They are not sure what is right or wrong. Bed rules might not seem important but one is setting up how to relate to rules and authorities.

Parents on the other hand get exasperated. The children keep pushing the limits. They at first are patient, then they fake patience, then they explode with anger. When the rules are not clearly taught and enforced, we are setting ourselves up for trouble.

"Let the one who does wrong, still do wrong; and let the one who is filthy, still be filthy; and let the one who is righteous, still practice righteousness; and let the one who is holy, still keep himself holy." (Revelation 22:11).

We let our chldren watch videos and television mostly what they want to.

The Lord wants us to carefully guard what our children watch. Parents act as if they are not accountable as to what their children watch. Our standard should be very strict. In order to avoid constant conflict, we recommend to get rid of the television or put it in an inconvenient spot. People are influenced by what they see, children even more so.

As a minimum, we should have them watch no violence or sensual scenes. We want them to have only wholesome images before them.

I will set no worthless thing before my eyes; I hate the work of those who fall away; It shall not fasten its grip on me. (Psalms 101:3).

"I Have made a covenant with my eyes; How then could I gaze at a virgin? (Job 31:1).

I'm not always sure where my children are or what they are doing.

The Lord wants us to be dligent in governing our children. They are easy prey for evil people. They are easily distracted from what their parents have said. They are susceptible to a lot of 'firsts' and don't know how to properly handle things. Children are not to be trusted until they show themselves faithful. We need to heavily guard what their computers reveal to them.

Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child; The rod of discipline will remove it far from him. (Proverbs 22:15).

It's so funny to see the boys wear girl's clothes.

The Lord is distressed how we confuse sex roles. We do this in a playing way with clothes. Many see it as harmless, but the Lord knows down deep that we are playing with our identity and calling. Yes, different cultures wear different things, but they all have a clear boy-girl difference. Modernity is trying to remove that difference as much as possible.

"A woman shall not wear man's clothing, nor shall a man put on a woman's clothing; for whoever does these things is an abomination to the LORD your God. (Deuteronomy 22:5).

Our children need to see the world for what it really is.

The Lord does not want us to see evil. He does not want us to listen to evil things. Many think it okay and normal if our boys hear the sexual stories going around. "They have to learn somehow!" they wrongly think. Instead we are to train our children how to be careful of such topics and rightly train them whta is pure and lovely. They will know what is wrong.

If they fail, we do not need to 'jump' on them, but we again need to reinforce what is wrong with those things and instruct them on how to handle the situation.

And do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them; for it is disgraceful even to speak of the things which are done by them in secret. (Ephesians 5:11,12).

A Christian school will help them become good Christians.

The Lord wants Christian instruction to begin at home. Basic instruction should always be at home. School or church Sunday School are places where they learn things on top of what they have already learned. Fathers must meet and teach his children God's ways and instructions. If fathers love their children, they will teach them God's Word.

"Now this is the commandment, the statutes and the judgments which the LORD your God has commanded me to teach you, that you might do them in the land where you are going over to possess it, so that you and your son and your grandson might fear the LORD your God, to keep all His statutes and His commandments, which I command you, all the days of your life, and that your days may be prolonged. (Deuteronomy 6:1,2).

I pray for my children each day.

The Lord wants us to pray for each of our children daily. We are not trying to be legalistic or magic like. Instead we are seeking God's true blessings upon our family each day. We as priests intercede for our children. As fathers we are like mini-shepherds who must focus on prayer and the Word. Surely if we have an obligation to care physically for our family, we also must spiritually care for them.

But you are A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR God's OWN POSSESSION, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; (1 Peter 2:9).

Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; (1 Thessalonians 5:16,17).

I overlook a lot of the sins of my children. They are but children.

The Lord deals with us mercifully, but we must not mistake that for lack of training. If our lake of training and chastisement means that they will respond wrongly again, is that mercy to skip on chastisement? No. Good training actually enables the parent to chastise less than those that are not consistent.

Children are given guardians while they are susceptible to dangers. We must be faithful in training and instructing them. We must wage before the fight against our 'fleshly lusts' (1 Pe 2:11). We must show them how and not allow softness take up poor excuses for not being responsible.

Furthermore, we had earthly fathers to discipline us, and we respected them; shall we not much rather be subject to the Father of spirits, and live? For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but He disciplines us for our good, that we may share His holiness. All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness. Therefore, strengthen the hands that are weak and the knees that are feeble, (Hebrews 12:9-12).

I dread the teenage years and all the extra tension.

The Lord does not want us to have these expectations. Our generation has corrupted itself by these vile expectations. We have then used this as our excuse for our lack of consistent training. If we properly love them through good discipline, then they should be as our friends during our teenage years. They should come to you for counsel, fun, talk and food. What an exciting time to work with them on how to be victorious in the Christian walk!

Thy people will volunteer freely in the day of Thy power; In holy array, from the womb of the dawn, Thy youth are to Thee as the dew. (Psalms 110:3).

Remember also your Creator in the days of your youth, before the evil days come and the years draw near when you will say, "I have no delight in them"; (Ecclesiastes 12:1).

We will notice that God is asking us to repent from certain sinful actions and attitudes. We must adopt His Word which will become the base for our new beliefs. We might not quite understand how the passage applies to a certain application. Keep seeking the Lord for His truth. Ask Him how your actions are or are not holy. These are always the best way. That is why the Gospel is called 'good news.'

We do not need to analyze what our former beliefs were, but we do need to be in earnest to fully adopt His Word no matter how we feel about it. By adopting the Lord's Word as our guidepost, we will begin to do what pleases Him and is best for ourselves and our family.

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