For the first 7 posts of this topic, I have focused on what I perceive is the current problem with Christianity and why we (Christians) are being the subject of increased attacks and skepticism especially from the younger generations.
Next, we will look at some real world statistics on parents who have raised Spiritual Champions. By this, I mean children who are now adults and consider themselves active, saved Christians who are still working on spiritual growth as young adults or parents themselves.
Traits of Parents Who Have Raised Spiritual Champions:
1. Parenting is their primary job.
Parents of spiritual champions took parenting very seriously and realized that raising children was the most significant contribution they would ever make to society. More than their jobs, their hobbies or their sports leagues. Many times this conflicts with other friends or societies views as our society puts a high value on career advancement or academic progression. These parents often stand out from the crowd and make personal life sacrifices that enhance their abilities to be better parents.
2. Parents are Life Coaches.
Parents of spiritual champions realized that a majority of what their children would learn about life would be taught in the home and from their parents example. In knowing this, the parents took an active role in being a Life Coach for their children. Often times contradicting society or the medias portrayal of norms and values, these parents set a real life example of a productive member of society and took an active role in shaping their children's worldviews.
3. Soci-economic factors had no bearing on results.
Parents of spiritual champions did not let financial standings impede their ability to parent effectively. Many of these households are single income households with one parents taking the role as primary care-giver. Not because of ignorance or lack of education but the fact that the parents realized that having one parent in a constant Life Coach role was more beneficial to raising their children. Money was not a factor in their outcome.
4. Put First Things First.
As Stephen Covey taught us, these parents got their priorities straight. In modern society, these parents are often frowned upon. Many Double Income parents have to outsource their parenting roles to teachers, coaches and the church and then cry foul on these institutions when their children have problems. Parents of spiritual champions realize that their childrens education in academics, faith and morals and values is the priority of the parents and not any other institution.
These parents also focus on spending as much time with their children as possible. This is contrary to many parents who work long hours then try to "buy" back quality time on weekends or by buying their children whatever they want in an attempt to make up for time lost because of work or other priorities in the parents life.
Parents of spiritual champions also balance their childrens time differently. They focus on faith and core values first then academics, sports and extracurricular activities and social lives. 73% of modern day parents place their children's time in exactly the opposite with little to no evidence that placing a high priority on academics or sports and extracurricular activities will yield positive results. See The Success Illusion for a better explanation.
Lastly, parents of spiritual champions put first things first by openly discussing problems and faith issues as a family. They look for everyday examples as an opportunity to talk and teach about faith and life values.
5. Genuine Relationships.
Parents of spiritual champions are not like the parents portrayed in the latest movies or sitcoms. Meaning they have a hands off approach and only show up at opportune times. Parents of spiritual champions seek to have a Mentor-Friend relationship with their children while maintaining their authority as a parent. They have real conversations on life, morals and faith with their children and average 90-120 minutes of personal time with their children each day. The national average for parents in the U.S. is 15 minutes of personal time with their children per day.
6. Intentional Spiritual Growth.
Parents of spiritual champions have measurable goals and benchmarks for their children and also set the example by continuing in their own spiritual journey and growth during their chidrens' lives. The parents pray, read the Bible, attend seminars and lectures and look for opportunities to live and teach Christianity by their example to their children. Many now adult spiritual champions said this was a big factor in their own choice to continue their faith and spiritual growth.
These may be six simple truths but they take a lifetime to hone and live up to. Legacy Dad tries to take these truths and package them into a customizable roadmap for raising spiritual champions.
To end this post I also offer some caution. While parenting should be a priority in a couples life, it is not the number one priority. I have seen many couples try to do this and then the marriage ends because the focus shifted from the marriage to the children. In my opinion the priorities should be faith, marriage, children.
For more on this, see one of very first posts: The Foundation of the Legacy
To finish up Christianity 2009, we will discuss further some parenting techniques for raising spiritual champions and give some real world examples of how to implement this into your current parenting style.