An Intentional Family

A friend of mine is writing his second volume on the book of Proverbs. He graciously asked me to send him a statement on parenting and family that he might use as a conversation starter for one of his articles. I tried to be concise and summarize what I consider to be an essential part of the parenting task. Here’s what I sent him:

Gospel-shaped families are intentional families. Many couples simply let their marriages happen. Many parents are willing to raise their children via autopilot. But families that are formed in the way of Jesus intentionally prioritize their most important relationships. Couples should be intentional — selfish, even — about carving out time for their marriage to flourish. Parents should create intentional space for the transmission of faith to take place in “real life” settings — around a campfire, at the dinner table, as we rise up and lie down (Deut. 6). This kind of intentionality is about more than just good leadership; it reflects the heart of our intentional God who created us in His image and reconciles that image back to us through the intentional life, death, and resurrection of His Son, Jesus.

In our home, we seek to be this kind of intentional family. We don’t always get it right, but when we do it’s because we’re being intentional.

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