False hopes and the role of parents

Is my dream that my children will never face adversaries or trials, or never be in trouble?

That sounds good, but won’t happen. I can’t make it so.

Is my dream that my children will be comfortable?

Trials and temptations are the path to perseverance. When my goal is comfort, I’ve tried to replace God in their lives. He alone is their comfort.

Is my dream that my children will grow up to be my best friends?

That would be nice, but I will have failed to lead them. They need me to be their parent.

Is my dream that my children will always be near me?

It would be better if I let them fly away. Even God’s son had to let go of his home.

Is my dream for my children that they would know the Bible?

Then I must teach them to know Christ.

Is my dream that my children will grow to marry the perfect spouse?

Remember, Paul says marriage is OK, but staying unmarried is good.

Is it my dream that they will be doctors, famous athletes, noted authors, or parents?

Then I’ve projected who I wanted to be upon them.

Is my dream that my children would become church leaders or great missionaries?

Then I must teach them vocation–that they are called to minister, whatever their environment.

Is my dream that people would look at my children and say, “What great parents they’ve had!”?

Then my pride is deflecting eyes from the one who should be visible.

Every parent hopes the best for their children. Every parent is inclined to dream for their children, but our dreams for our children aren’t important. As parents, we feed them, keep them warm, provide appropriate discipline, let them know that we love them no matter what, and demonstrate obedience to God. As parents, we teach them to eat healthy, teach them to be polite, and teach them to clean their room and do chores around the house. As parents, we read the Bible to our children, help them to memorize pieces of it, and demonstrate, as best we can, obedience to God’s Word. We pray with our children, and pray for your children regularly. We kick them in the pants when they sit too long on the couch, and we pick them up and kiss their booboo when they fall. As parents, we show our children that they are free in Christ: free from sin, and free to use the gifts that he gives through his Spirit in the way that God directs them to go.

When we’ve done these things for our children (I pray we do them in Christ’s strength), we’ve done our job well. It’s then that we have to let them go, and continually let them go. And as they go, we cheer them on…and still pray for them.

God’s dream for our children is bigger than ours.

Don’t dream for your child a dream too small. All your dreams will be smaller than God’s.


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