Our children are VIP’s! God’s love gives them value, knowing Jesus gives them identity and the ministry of the Holy Spirit reveals the purpose they have for living on this planet. Value…Identity…Purpose. This is the heritage that we can pass on to the children in our lives.
Focus and continuity are important here. That’s why the home, again, is so well suited to provide what is needed to guide our children to maturity in every dimension of life. It’s especially vital today because the array of options we have is enormous, and decision making is all the more complicated.
For our kids, security comes from knowing deep down how much God loves them. Security comes from experiencing Jesus’s life in theirs thus defining who they are. Security comes from following the Holy Spirit’s prompting when they need to make decisions or course correction. Self-worth, self-identity, self-determination don’t come from within the human heart; they come from God’s heart.
The process by which we learn these life lessons is as varied and unique as the children God gives us to raise. Thank God we’ve been promised wisdom for this daunting, delightful privilege. James wrote in the early part of his book about “trials and temptations crowding into our lives.” Sound familiar? He goes on to say that “if, in the process, any of you does not know how to meet any particular problem he has only to ask God, Who gives generously to all without making them feel foolish or guilty, and he may be quite sure the necessary wisdom will be given.” (James 1:2-8) What encouraging words!
If we’re watchful, our children will give us clues, also. From about age eleven on, we can keep track of three things. To discern God’s overarching purpose for a youngster, they need to take into account 1) what talents and natural abilities God has placed in their life, 2) what really matters to them, their passions, and 3) for the Christian child, what spiritual sensitivity exists. In what unique ways do they bless others and draw them to faith in God. Can they discern spiritual giftings?
With wise mentoring by loving adults, both in and out of the immediate family, young people can see these three strands fit together. They can then enter post-high school years with clear direction…understanding who they are in Christ and how God wants them to prepare for a life of purposeful service in God’s Kingdom.
Surely we realize that this world’s system, even the “American dream” lures our kids to believe that they are the center of their world. God’s offer is so much better, and those who find what God offers and follow His leading with faith and obedience never look back with regret.
May God raise up a generation of parents who intentionally weave into the fabric of their children’s lives – ongoing prayer, the application of God’s Word, a partnership for courageous, unselfish service to others, and preparation to live according to God’s purposes, for God’s glory.
NOTE: Scripture references are from The New Testament in Modern English by J.B.Phillips; Macmillan Co.1960