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Where Are We Aiming?

In the past, my wife often told our son, “Our goal is not to have a happy kid but to raise a successful adult. You are going to be an adult for way longer than you are a kid”

And this quote brings up a good question. What is the goal of parenting? What target are we aiming for? In 40 years, what will we deem a success?

Because the goal matters. Maybe more than you and I realize.

If my wife and I aimed to have a happy kid, it would be easier in some respects. Think of how many fewer disagreements there would be. No disagreements about:

  • Eating vegetables,

  • Eating only sugar cereal for breakfast or

  • Bedtime,

  • Doing chores

  • Knowing how to take care of yourself

  • Saving money

  • What video games can be played,

  • What TV show should be watched

  • Million other things

And while it would be easier in the short term for my wife and I to parent like this. We know how our son would most likely turn out if we parent him this way. He would grow up to be a boy who could shave.

So what's our goal? To raise a man who is full of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

And this takes a lot more intentionality, effort, and tears from him and us.

But in this, we are setting him up for success for the longest period of his life, adulthood.

So what about you? What are you aiming for as a parent? Have you thought about this before? I know life is busy and hectic, but this is more important than many of the other things that keep us busy.

So, will you join me and my wife on the journey?

Mike Van Drie

Pastor of Jesus Gathering


Healthy conversations with your teen: 


Blog Goal:The Talk With Your Teen blog encourages and equips Christian parents to have consistent, open, and meaningful conversations with their teenagers about relational and sexual health.


About us: This blog is hosted by The Joshua Center from Positive Options. The Joshua Center exists to mobilize the body of Christ to embody the Gospel as we build a culture of life in West Michigan.


Parenting teens can be challenging. We offer Biblically based social and sexual health workshops that help ground teens in God's truth and authority as they navigate a hypersexual and rapidly evolving culture focused on individualism and self-gratification. Talk with your Teen articles expand and build on these trainings by encouraging and equipping Christian parents to have ongoing conversations with their teens regarding sensitive cultural issues. For more information about our workshops, for both teens and their parents, please email

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