Supporting the purpose of your child’s life
January 20, 2004
A few years ago I experienced one of those “laugh out loud, file it in the keeper file” moments. I pulled up to a stop light behind a nice new mini van with a familiar bumper sticker on the lower right side of the shiny bumper. I’m sure you’ve seen them; “My child is an honor student at…(name of the middle school). At the moment I finished reading what middle school the child prodigy attended, my ears were filled with muffler noise and my vision was clouded by the smoke coming from the 1973 Plymouth Duster that pulled up beside the mini van. The Duster also had a bumper sticker that read, “My kid can beat up your honor student.” Two philosophies of life side by side at the stop light. It’s true though isn’t it? Some parents have genius goals for their children and other parents have 1973 Duster goals for their kids. Some parents want their kids to become Nobel prize winners and others want their kids to just get by.
I want you to consider this thought, God has some goals for your children too. Goals for living, and fulfilling His purpose for their lives. When a child knows God’s reason behind their existence, with the help of their parents they will begin to see purpose behind all the events of their lives. School activities become more than activities, they become platforms for accomplishing God’s purpose. Learning becomes more than studying for tests and getting a passing grade, it becomes a method for them to sharpen their skills for Kingdom work. When they know why they’re here, they will be more open to preparing themselves to fulfill that purpose throughout their lives.
We all have goals for our kids. Some are good life goals. Some are our own unfulfilled goals. Others may be achievement goals to stretch our children physically, mentally or socially. There’s nothing wrong with having goals for your kids. The key question is, what are your motives behind the goals and on what basis or principles are those goals set. Are they your selfish desired goals or are they God given goals? This is a question each parent must be able to answer honestly.
Jesus knew the purpose of His life from the beginning, and we know at the age of 12 when He entered into adulthood He immediately moved into living out His life’s purpose. Children today struggle into their 20’s and 30’s trying to discover their purpose. But if they have parents who will guide and support them in this process they will be living out God’s dream for them long before they leave their teenage years.
So what role do parents play in helping their children discover God’s plan for their lives and how can they consistently support that plan? First of all, the parent must have a clear picture of what God’s plan is for their own life. When the parent understands why they are here on this earth, it will become a more natural process of developing that picture for their child. All of us are here for a purpose. In fact, besides the various roles we play in life i.e. mother, father, grandparent, cook, police officer, fireman, etc. we all have the same purpose. Our Creator made us with a beautiful unique design to know Him and connect to Him on an intimate level. But that’s not all, He also wants us to help others connect to Him. We do this by sharing with them through casual contact and formal settings how wonderful He is, the difference He has made in our lives and what He means to us. The tragedy is too many parents see their children perhaps at a young age connect with God through a profession of faith and they think their spiritual task is over. No. It’s just beginning. That child needs continual support in discovering all that God wants and has intended for them to be. We as parents become the guiding lights to the goal, and the guardrails from destruction for our children. Our children are driving through life seeking purpose and meaning. We need to help them write their own bumper sticker that will not only mark their lives, but impact all eternity.