Family Life Podcasts

Family Life Podcasts

Parenting: Taking the Long View – Inside Out – 2/28/24

February 28, 2024

Parenting: Taking the Long View

We want to raise our children well. Because of that, we look for instructions. That was true for parent and educational consultant Laura Spaulding.

 “It seemed to be that there was always just a right way presented to you, and some of it came from the Christian culture, and some of it came from the neighborhood, and some of it came from TV,” she says.

 Spaulding is the author of a January 2024 Gospel Coalition article titled Taking the Long View Revolutionized My Parenting.

Christian parents hold on to Proverbs 22:6, where we’re instructed to “train up a child in the way he should go,” so that, “when he is old, he will not depart from it. Taking that verse apart and recognizing what it really is saying: it is saying, ‘Start them this way, and it finishes this way.’ Like all the middle is so unique to each person,” she says.

 Two decades into her parenting journey, Spaulding believes she’s developed some perspective.

 “The chief end of parenting is not getting kids into perfect colleges so that they can find the perfect job and marry the perfect spouse, so that they could turn around and have perfect kids of their own,” she says. “The chief end of parenting, just like the chief end of life, is perfection for all eternity.”

Gospel Coalition

 That’s the kind of perfection that doesn’t come from formulas. It comes from Christ. “The ‘perfection for all eternity’ comes at the end of the race. At the end of the journey. And so our job as parents is to prepare our kids for a journey. It is to get them started.”

Get to know your children well, she says, and parent them accordingly. “Put the parenting books away and instead study the child in your arms,” she says, “really paying attention to what are their unique gifts and limitations. What motivates them. What stresses them out. What lights them up.”

 Proverbs 22:6, Spaulding says, is a gracious invitation for taking a long view on the development of our children. “Use what you learn about them to help them know themselves, to help them know and relate to their Creator, to help prepare them for the good works that God has prepared in advance for them to do.

Join us for our 18-minute conversation by listening to the podcast.


Read the article that inspired this conversation here.

Read Laura Spaulding’s other writing here.