Several weeks ago I began writing about goals I have as we seek to rear our girls for God’s glory. I mentioned the four areas of spiritual, emotional, mental and physical goals. I’ve covered spiritual and emotional goals we strive for; today I’m sharing the mental goals.
- Instill in our daughters at an early age the importance of hiding God’s Word in their hearts by memorizing Bible verses. This corresponds with the spiritual goals as well, but in this instance, I am wanting to help them avoid the temptation to fill their minds with wrong thoughts. By “wrong thoughts” I don’t just mean lustful thoughts, but also the attitudes of envy, bitterness, negativity or a critical spirit. Being able to recall from memory Bible verses that they have learned and then meditating on them will be a lifelong help in keeping their minds on right things.
- I desire that my girls know how to conduct themselves properly in all kinds of situations. One of my reasons for starting my Mannerly Monday series was to remind myself that I need to be aware of the manners I am (or am not) teaching and demonstrating to my children. I want them to know how to be a gracious hostess or guest, how to act at a formal dinner or fine arts event, how to converse intelligently on different subjects. I guess this would have been what a “finishing school” accomplished in the old days! Demonstrating poise and grace wherever they find themselves will be a valuable life skill.
- Have our girls always be reading and learning new things. Charlie ‘Tremendous’ Jones said “You will be the same person in five years as you are today except for the books you read and the people you meet.” Having developed a love of reading at an early age, I think they are well on their way to meeting this goal. My challenge now is to continue providing them good, quality reading material that will develop the morals and character qualities we desire them to have.
- Be financially savvy. We are already training the girls in dividing their allowance into the categories of giving, saving and spending. One night my husband gave our older daughter a brief summary of what a budget is. As they get older, we will teach them about balancing a checkbook and more about being smart with their money. I do realize that there will be times when they will have to learn the hard way about the ease of wasting money, but we are already trying to teach them principles such as how it is usually better to save a little more and buy quality items rather than running to the dollar store to spend their money every time they have a bit of cash (nothing personal against the dollar store, mind you!)
- Develop an appreciation for good music and quality entertainment. As they are getting a little bit older, it is fun to take them to plays or concerts and see them enjoy these new experiences.
It has been a help to me to write these goals down so that I can keep them in front of me and continue to work toward them. The last category, physical goals, will be coming up soon!