Proverbs 19:21: Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.
Interestingly enough I have plans for my boys. I would guess for most of us fathers and mothers out there you are just as guilty as me when it comes to formulating plans for your children. I mean we know what’s best for our kids, right? So naturally we are going to steer our children according to those plans we have laid out. Now I’m not talking about the hobbies and things we did as kids. If you grew up playing sports, musical instruments, painting, writing, fishing or whatever you tend to pass that on to your sons or daughters. What I’m talking about is the course you set for your kids to become doctors, lawyers, business owners, farmers, actors or even sports stars. In your mind you have the end result they must achieve so that’s where you invest your resources.
Let me ask you this. What happens when your child doesn’t necessarily line up with your plan? I would say frustration comes to the surface. As a parent I have seen it far too often. The dad who wants the sports star; when their young athletes messes up and drops the ball, or makes an error, it is a sign of doom that they won’t fulfill their parents dream of getting a college scholarship ora professional contract. A grade of “C” ends the pursuit and reality of becoming a doctor or lawyer. Every moment in the life of the child becomes riddled with stress and anxiety for both the child and the parent because of the plans their parents have for them. And now no one is happy.
What can change this perspective and mindset?
We should view our children for what they are; a gift from God. Psalm 127:3 says “Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him.” What is the actual meaning of the word gift? The meaning of gift is this: A thing given willingly to someone without payment. God doesn’t ask for payment when it comes to our kids. How do we usually treat gifts and presents we receive from friends and family? First, we have a gratitude that we extend to the person we received it from. Second, we take responsibility for that gift and lastly, we care for that gift as long as it belongs to us. If children are a gift from God, then we should follow those three guidelines. We should give everlasting thanks to our Heavenly Father on a daily basis. We should understand God has given us a responsibility to care for our kids as long as we are on this Earth. We know the type of care given changes with time, but we also know you never stop being parents therefore that love we have for our kids lasts forever.
If we have a new perspective that our children are a gift from God then we can look at how we can best honor Him with this ever so gracious gift. Proverbs 22:6says “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” Is the way a child should go one of the path of a doctor, or lawyer or sports star? No! Train your child up in a way that they will desire a relationship with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Then, if your child has the gift of athletic ability you can support them if they choose the path of sports. What changes is this; If Christ is the path then you both can see, as parent and child, that the gift of athletic ability was given by God and can be used to honor and glorify Him. If your child has a heart for the sick then you can both recognize this as something from God and go down a path to honor Him through the skill of becoming a doctor. If you change your mindset then the beauty of a child growing up can be enjoyed by all and pleasing to our God in heaven. You consider above all else the plan and purpose that God has for your children.You set aside your plans and pretty soon you will see them through the lens of God and begin to enjoy this process of raising a child.
DiscerningReflection: How do I know I am honoring the plans God has for my children? How can I trust that I am training them up in a way to have a relationship with Jesus Christ?
Prayer: Lord, search my heart and grant me the wisdom to trust in you. Allow me to trust your purpose and plan you have for my children. If I allow my plans to take precedence, I pray I am able to recognize and take action to restore the path to your plan. This is all in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen
Guest Discerning Dad