Pivotal (Parenting) Decisions

From choosing a crib to the college search, parenting is a timeline of decisions. 

If you’ve been on social media or watched the news long enough (or have a mother-in-law), you know what I’m talking about. Public school or private? Discipline? Smartphone?

It’s pretty intense.

Not to mention how it feels inside your head — where your personal fears can turn decision-making into a minefield.

The good news is this is normal. Even better news, many of the decisions you’re stressing about now are not as high-stakes as you’ve made them out to be. Think back to your childhood. Did that plate of broccoli fundamentally change you as a person? Probably not.

If broccoli is the bottom of the list of decisions with huge impact and eternal significance (sorry, broccoli), then pivotal decisions are at the top. These aren’t necessarily big decisions, but they are critical. They are based on your values, and they set a direction for your family.

Think of it this way: when you make a pivotal decision for your family, you’re laying a path. Your kids may stray from that path at times, but fortunately, your job as a parent isn’t to control or perfect your child. Your job is to guide them — with correction, connection, and encouragement — to choose a path that will take them closer to God.

That sounds like a lot of responsibility.

But before you panic and take your stress out on a large pizza, you should know you don’t have to figure out what to do next by yourself. God has already identified some pivotal decisions in His Word, and they’re very, very practical. Remember, the pivot itself is only one step — a small, intentional movement that can change the game. Below is a starter list of steps you can take today to change your family’s trajectory.

Spend time in God’s Word. Every day.
Help your children spend time in God’s Word. Tell stories! Get creative! The Bible App for Kids is a great resource that allows parents to stream or download 30-minute Bible video episodes, coloring pages, and activity sheets.

Pray as a family.
It’s easy, but it doesn’t happen without intention. Help your kids talk to God and understand He is always with us.

Go to church.
Eventually, your children will need peer relationships and crave a community (just like you!). Get planted now.

Find your people.
Our church has groups where you can find community. Whether it’s a parenting book, a Bible study, or a group that discusses Pastor Steven’s sermon, find one. We need each other.

Put your values into practice.
Pivotal decisions are based on values. What does your family value? Plan family activities that reinforce those values. What you practice with your children has a much deeper impact than what you tell them.

Does one of those action steps stand out to you? Choose a new direction this week, and pivot!


To learn about pivotal decisions, check out Pastor Steven’s sermon “Pivotal Decisions (Put A Purpose On It)” from the Maybe: God series. It’s up on the Elevation site, App, podcast, and YouTube.