For years leaders have recognized that kids who do the best in Awana programs have help at home. A recent Awana alumni study shows not only that, but also over 90 percent of those Awana kids… Read more

Where Are You Spending Your Time?

(Excerpted from God’s Grand Vision for the Home by Dr. Rob Rienow. Click here to purchase the book from Awana.)

When your son or daughter leaves your home someday, which one of the following would you want most for them?

a) To be successful academically
b) To be successful athletically
c) To be successful socially
d) To be a person of faith and character

Personally, I would like to have another option, “e) All of the above.” But if you could only have one, which one would you choose? You most likely said that faith and character are most important. At least it seems like the “right answer.”

Let me change the question a bit. Which of the following parenting issues gets the best of your time, effort, money, anxiety, and planning?

a) Academics
b) Athletics
c) Social life
d) Faith and character development

If you had to rank them in order of the amount of time, money, and effort that goes into each one, what would come out on top? What would come out on the bottom? I asked myself these questions in my role as a father, and the answers were challenging. The thing that I claimed was most important to me — the faith and character development of my children — was often at the bottom of my actual priority list.

Let’s imagine that all of my children turn out to be smart, athletic, popular, polite and hardworking. It would seem that they would be poised for all the success the world has to offer. But what if they didn’t love God, and know His plan for their lives? Most importantly of all, what if they don’t get safely home to heaven?

There is nothing wrong with being great at sports, getting good grades, or being well-liked. The danger is that if these things become our focus, we can completely miss the things that truly matter.

What is God's vision for your kids?

God has a grand vision for your family. He put each and every person in your family together for a purpose, and He gave you children for a reason. God didn’t do all this just to have you “survive” being in the same house together for 18 years. I pray that as you read this book, God’s grand vision for your family will come into focus for you.

There are two basic types of parents who will actually read a book on parenting. The first is the mom or dad who reads everything on parenting. They are the resident parenting experts in their neighborhoods, and they seem to be on top of their game at all times.

The rest of us are in the other category. A lot of days we are at our wits end. We have reached the point where we are so desperate that we are actually willing to read a book! Don’t be discouraged. As you read, I hope that you will be able to relate to my ups and downs as a father. Take heart! Because of the grace of God, it is never too late to change, grow, and become the parent God wants you to be.

What does God want for your family?

I believe God wants to expand your vision for your family. I believe He wants to inspire and refresh your heart for the things that matter most. This journey is going to take us to the Bible. The Bible is a divinely inspired book, and in its pages God reveals to us His grand vision and purpose for our lives.

Everyone’s family is different, but God’s purpose for every family is the same. No matter what kind of family you came from, or what kind of family you are in right now, God has chosen to put you together for a reason. Would you like to know what it is?

Open your hearts, prepare for God to do something new, and join me in discovering God’s grand vision for the family.

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