I remember as a young seminary student sitting in a "future" minister's wives class taught by our Pastor's wife. This was a significant time in my life because God used this dear woman to plant some seeds of vision in my heart that grew to become a burning passion to have an exceptional marriage and children who would impact the Kingdom.
Over the years God continued to water those seeds and expand my understanding of His original intent in creating "family". In Genesis 1:28 it is clear that it was His desire that we partner together to subdue the earth and rule over it.
As a parent with two grown children, I will have to say that they are one of the greatest joys of my life. However, their greatest purpose is not just to be a joy to their parents, but to become powerful rulers and instruments of the Kingdom of God.
This may seem an unobtainable goal in the early years of parenting when changing diapers, middle of the night feedings, ear infections, and sleep deprivation are the order of the day.
Our focus can become just as impaired in later years as we join the merry-go-round of soccer games, carpool, piano lessons, and karate practice. Too often have young parents with the best of intentions, bought into the lie that their child must be an expert in every field. The pressure to compete and succeed becomes a driving force that is a poor substitute for some of the things that every child needs in the depths of their heart.
Having a Kingdom vision and purpose in parenting is essential to raise up and equip children who will learn to rule in their sphere of influence. Having this vision effects everything about how you parent and why you parent.
Children need to know and rest secure in their father and mother's love. They need to hear that they are special, unique and created with a purpose and destiny that a loving Heavenly Father ordained for them. After years of doing counseling and inner healing with individuals it has become obvious that one of Satan's greatest strategies, if not THE greatest strategy against us, is to try and keep us from finding out our true identity. Parents play a huge role in building a healthy foundation of identity in their children and pointing them to their Daddy God who will continue to speak words of identity and destiny into their hearts.
As parents we are to "train up a child in the way he (or she) should go". It is part of a parent's job to know their child and discern how they have been created and then to wisely point them in that direction and provide opportunities to see them grow into that calling.
Success in the world and success in the Kingdom will not always look the same. As a parent, your values will be reflected in the way that you parent. Prestige, wealth, and high-paying jobs are not wrong in themselves, but they become wrong when they are valued above the Kingdom. We are to 'Seek first the Kingdom and His righteousness'.
Psalm 127:4 likens children to "arrows in the hand of a warrior". Arrows have to be fashioned and the very nature of an arrow is that it be released. The releasing of the arrow comes after it has been honed and fashioned in such a way as to hit the target made for it.
As parents, we are 'arrow-makers', shaping, fashioning, and honing our children as arrows. There is no greater joy than partnering with the Godhead in fashioning your quiver full of arrows, then standing back one day to release those arrows, one by one into the Kingdom.