imageI’m honestly not one for New Year’s Resolutions. However, I do have to admit that January 1st seems to bring with it a freshness that doesn’t seem to occur during any other time of year. Perhaps it just puts time into perspective within our lives. We tend to see goals as more easily achieved when we stick “over the next year I’d like to…” onto whatever it is we seek to accomplish.

So with that comes an excuse to implement a few goals into the structure of our family. It might be just making a few tweaks here and there. Or perhaps it’s making some larger changes.

This year, among a short list of goals that we’ve set for ourselves, is to each have an area of focus that we’re working on. With each word (area of focus, rather) we have chosen scripture to back it up.

For Lily, her word is “Respect.” The scripture we’ve chosen for her is Proverbs 1:8-9. While respect is something she will learn to give to everyone, it will help her to learn how to respond to the rules and the structure that is laid before her by us as parents – even if she doesn’t fully understand the reason behind them at the time.

For Henley, her word is “Obey.” The scripture we’ve chose for her is Ephesians 6:1-3. Henley can be easily distracted and, therefore, sometimes her obedience comes with a long period of delay or objection. This will help her to adhere to prompt obedience. If she first is able to promptly obey us as her parents, she will more easily be ready to promptly obey God as she matures.

For Wyatt, his word is “Kindness.” The scripture we’ve chosen for him is Ephesians 4:32. While “forgiveness” isn’t something Wyatt identifies a lot with yet (both forgiving others or being forgiven by Christ), he is still old enough to know what kindness and tenderheartedness means. By discussing this with him and praying this scripture over him, we can encourage a kind heart toward others.

Though Willow is not yet a year old we’ve still given her a word. For her, it is “Grow.” And the scripture we’ve chosen for her is 2 Peter 3:18. We will pray this scripture over her that she will grow in grace and knowledge of the God who loves her.

For Jonathon and myself it was a lot harder. We are our own worst critics and could certainly come up with many words of our own, but we enlisted help from the kids.

Henley said that Dad needs to be calm when things aren’t running as smoothly as he’d wish. “Patience” is an area that Jonathon agreed that he needs to work on. I’ll take this opportunity to say that I, myself, could continue to grow in this area. And as I’ve found that there are many scriptures in the Bible that preach patience, I’m sure many other parents would agree this is an area that we could all use a leg up. 😉 We’ve settled on the scripture of Proverbs 16:32.

As for myself, the kids said they would like my focus to be on more one-on-one time with each of them as well as discussing the topics I write about on my blog. (this last bit was mostly Lily). The word I came up with is “Invest.” Having landed on several great verses, I ultimately decided to stick to one that spoke to me back in August. Deuteronomy 6:7 is a scripture that I wanted to adopt with the girls that we encourage in our youth group, but this is one that I need to focus on more heavily within my own family.

I tend to be so focused in keeping our lives moving forward that I don’t take as much time to sit down and discuss my spiritual life with them. They see me studying, but I seldom go into a lot of detail regarding what I’m studying, how God is working in my life and in what way I am applying the scriptures that I’m reading.

So, to wrap it up, I’m aware that this type of approach could be adopted any time of the year. However, I felt that it would give the kids some perspective if we began once the tree was boxed away. This will help to serve as the perfect timeline to allow our children to see how Christ can intervene in our lives within a 12 month period.

So be in prayer for us this year that we will be diligent in bringing a new perspective to the term “resolution” over the next 12 months.

And perhaps that word won’t be such a cliche for us anymore…