A Telling Telos

Dan Peterson
What is the telos, or end goal, for your parenthood? As a fellow parent, my head and heart swirl with ideas that I hope and desire for my children such as to know and believe in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior of their life, to develop grit, to be thoughtful and kind, to be contributors and gospel influencers, to be servants and leaders, to abide in Christ, and become critical thinkers . . . The list could go on and on. There is a sense in which our telos tells or reveals something about the center of who we are. How do we define success? What matters most to us?

My point is this: Do your day-to-day actions match your end goal, your telos for parenting? Honestly, for me, some days it does, but many days it does not. I am thankful to be in community with others who are like-minded and pursue what matters most to my wife and me. If you do not have a vision, a goal, a telos, for your parenthood, then I would encourage you to form one. The beginning of a new year is a great time to pause, think, dream, and strategize. Sit down for a few hours and begin to write out what a clear and direct statement of what your end goal is for parenting your children. Then, take some time to think: What are specific things I can do now to pursue the goal? The specifics will change as your children go through various stages of development and maturity. What matters is that we are prayerfully and intentionally aiming to reflect our telos in our everyday parenting, trusting the Holy Spirit to move in our children’s hearts and to bear fruit. Truly, the telos of our parenthood tells the story of what is most important to us.

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