“He wasn’t afraid of failing, he was afraid of succeeding at something that didn’t matter.” The words of the eulogy have captivated my thinking in so many areas of life but none so much as in the area of parenting.  (See WORTHLESS WORK, POINTLESS PARENTING Article 1)

What is the one over-arching goal of Christian parenting?  What are some well-meaning, but in the end, improper goals (not what God asked for or wrong targets)?   

The first improper goal of Christian parenting that came to mind is, “pretty good kids.”  This is the goal of the well-meaning parent who primarily seeks to produce kids who follow the rules.  Little time is spent explaining the reasoning behind the rules or more importantly the relationship behind the rules.

The words, “because I said so” are overused and unexplained.  This parent would be happy to have kids who are not sexually involved before marriage, drinking, smoking, doing drugs, etc.  They would feel they had done a good job at parenting if they produced “pretty good kids.”

Parenting with the goal of “good kids” reduces this great spiritual endeavor to behavioral manipulation.  It often produces children who keep the rules while in the home but leave the reasonless and relation-less rules behind soon after gaining their “freedom.”

While it certainly is the responsibility of parents to raise good kids my argument is that it is not the primary target that the Christian parent is to be aiming for.  Thus, in the end those who make “good kids” their ultimate aim might find they have hit the bulls-eye of the wrong target.

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