Parenting is hard. Children of the faith are leaving by the droves. According to a study by Family Life Counsel, 88% of evangelical children are quitting the faith by their high school graduation. This shows just how vital biblical parenting is. Parenting is a huge responsibility. But it is one of the most important and fulfilling tasks someone can do.
You should prepare to be one while you are young. There are many ways to prepare, but one way I thought of not long ago is what I call a parenting journal.
Everyone has their successes and their failures. The "parenting journal" is a place for you to keep track of all those different learning experiences you would otherwise forget. But don't just keep it to the good. The mistakes your parents make are also learning opportunities.
I like to think of it like this. We are studying for a parenting test. Your parents are your teachers, and your journal is your notes. We take notes on other things. Why not on parenting? After all, it's one of the most important tasks you will ever do, so I think it deserves notes.
If you google "how to take notes," you will be bombarded with a billion different systems, theories, and ideas, each claiming to be the best. Everyone has their method. But it isn't that complicated. Write down what strikes you as most important. Personality types are varied, and different things will work for different people. But I like to keep three things in mind when writing my journal.
- Write the background information. Everyone has different personalities. Parenting is not a one-size-fits-all deal, so you must tailor it to each child's specific needs. Make sure you write down the effect so and so had upon you. Or that positively affected this person. Or whatever. Just write down the stuff.
- Always write down the why. Your opinions will most likely change as you grow older and wiser, so always remember to say why you think so and so is so important, or why you won't do so and so when you are a parent. Or why this has the effect it did upon you.
- Prayer is crucial. Whatever you do now to prepare yourself to be a good parent, you will not be one unless you have a sound knowledge of the Bible and a good relationship with God.
Don't wait. Start taking your future as a parent seriously. If you don't do it now, you will probably never do it. So do it now.