The moment parents look at their children there is a sense of love, wonder, and awe that comes over them. Here is a new person they are responsible to and for as he or she grows up.
Proverbs 22:6 describes that responsibility, Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it. Unfortunately, many parents decide that they know who and what their child should be trained up to do. Once the parents make that decision, they strive, push, manipulate, and coerce their child to become that person.
Proverbs isn’t about the parents’ ideas and plans– it’s about God and His plans, His purposes for the child. God may have given talents and gifts to that child that may be 180-degrees from the profession the parent has been pushing.
When we try to force our children to become something they are not created to be, we run the risk of squelching their purpose (Ephesians 2:10). We risk breaking their spirit.
Deuteronomy 6 describes the parents’ responsibility to teach the Biblical truths and instill them in their children. Praying for our children- listening to God’s response, understanding who our children are, guiding them toward the life and profession God has planted in them.
It could be business, medicine, law, or education, just as easily as it could be working as a chef, or missionary-work in a foreign country, becoming a pastor, or a homemaker. None of these titles or jobs have any more weight than the other- each is necessary.
My sons have been blessed with very different skills- each of the creates- but one does it with hammers and saws, while the other creates with paper and pencil, drawing intricate scenes. Neither is better than the other, both have been given gifts and talents by God.
O Best Beloved, do not squelch the gifts God has given your child out of your own selfish pride. Go and listen to your children. Watch him or her- what are they gifted to do? Once you see these talents guide them with classes, mentors, teachers, and peers who have that gift who will help to hone your children’s gifts to bless others.
Your Christmas letter should not be the measuring stick of success. The Audience of One saying, “Well done, good and faithful servant,” is what matters most (Matthew 25:21).
**For more ideas check out Boundaries, Boundaries with Children, and Boundaries with Teens by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend