We continue our book study with Desperate Chapter 12: Living on Purpose. Sally talks to us about the necessity of living in intentional motherhood. Walking through each day with an intentional purpose in our homes, marriages and parenting. This purpose will help you keep on track and navigate the many decisions and demands life offers.
I love Sarah Mae’s confession that she is a “Good-intentions person”. Whether it relates to her marriage, homemaking or homeschooling – she is full of resources, dreams and good intentions. The rub comes when those intentions need to play out into consistent actions.
Good intentions don’t lead to a life well-lived; a life well lived is accomplished when we walk each day in faith keeping our eyes on Jesus and our hearts inclined to His Word. It is accomplished when we choose right in the little things…
Choosing right in the little things…that lead to the big things we want to teach and instill in our children’s hearts. Sally challenges us to ask ourselves two questions:
- What am I doing everyday to ensure that I am walking forward with intentionality into filling my own soul with virtues of God’s design for my life?
- What am I doing to craft my home so as to bring to life the souls of my children?
Sally kept her focus on virtues as a way of keeping her intentions clear: graciousness, faithfulness and godliness.
When our children were all pre-school aged, Ken & I spent time working on intentional parenting. We met so many parents who had elaborate systems of discipline in place for their children. Consequences. Charts. Escalating punishment. These things aren’t wrong, but they felt one-sided.
We went in search of parents who had elaborate systems in place for what they wanted to teach their children. Instead of focusing on the discipline (what we don’t want) we wanted systems for teaching and training in righteousness (what we do want).
We came up with 5 Pitcher Family Values. We wrote them on paper and hung them in every child’s closet. I put them inside the kitchen cupboards at my eye-level. We had one taped inside the hutch with the dishes, so we’d see it every time we set the table for a meal. We talked about our values, saw them throughout the day, and wanted to live them out as a family. It was our vision for intentional parenting.
- Obedience. Obedience is our first response.
- Respect. We respect people and things.
- Beauty. We see beauty around us and let it nourish our souls
- Faith. We live in a way that requires faith
- Generosity. We generously give of our time and resources to serve others
You can come up with different items for your list of family values. As I look on this list with my children at the teenage & young adult stage, I can say that they are marked by these things. These values have worked their way through our parenting, infusing our home, and into their hearts.
I challenge you to make sure that your parenting efforts & focus are in training your children to reflect your intentions and values. Let discipline be a secondary issue. Train your children in the things that you want to see in their lives. Parent with purpose and vision.
And take Sarah Mae’s advice to heart: these huge values are instilled in hundreds of little actions. Choose right in the little things and you’ll see the fruit in years to come.