The Lord makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him; though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with his hand. – Psalm 37:23,24 (NIV)
When my younger sister had her first child, she sent me a picture of the baby with lots of lace and a pretty blanket. On the back of the picture was written “The next Miss America”. I still chuckle about that picture. She didn’t become Miss America, but she became an excellent teacher/ counselor at a high school and is now a realtor!
It is common for parents to have dreams of what their children will become. Lots of dads think their sons will be the next famous football player or a very rich person. Moms often think that their daughters will be the most famous of all women, etc. However, many times these dreams do not coincide with the plans God has for them.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if all parents simply wanted their children to be what God created them to be? But how do we know what that is? The truth is that we don’t know about the career they will choose. There is one thing, however, of which we can be certain. We know that God wants all children to love Him and obey His will.
How do we as parents accomplish the task of helping them to love God and do His will? There are some things that God definitely wants all parents to do; then, He will direct the children to the purpose for which they were created. God wants all children to love Him, love their neighbors, and choose to do the things for which they were created. He also wants them to know as much as possible about the Bible. These are the things over which parents do have control.
How do parents do these things for which they are accountable? When children hear parents and others use God’s name in vain, they are not learning to love God. When children are in homes where there is much conflict, they do not learn to love others. When children live in homes that do not attend church, they grow up to think that church attendance and the Bible are not important.
Why is church attendance so important? It is important for what we can contribute as well as what we get from it. Our country is in desperate need of dedicated church attendees. Church attendance is on the decline. Are churches perfect? No. There is no perfect church. Our children, however, can learn about the Bible, and parents can help them apply it to their lives.
The home should be a place of love for one another where children do not hear parents “badmouthing” others. Bickering and “gutter” language should not be in homes. No matter what parents tell children, they tend to pattern their lives after parents and those with whom they spend much time.
If parents truly pattern a life of love, their children may surpass all the dreams the parents had for them.