Monday, September 30, 2013

Our Dreams For Our Children

What dreams do you have for your children's futures?

After you think about that for a minute, ask: "Are these dreams mine, or God's? Are they for my sake, or for my children's sakes?

In a recent Simple Homeschool article, When Your Children's Dreams Are Different Than Your Own, contributing author Cheryl Pitt shares this about her homeschooled son:

Today he is 17, intelligent, and a hard worker. I was so proud when he recently landed his first job as a package handler for a shipping company. He loves his job and is proud of the paycheck that comes with it. As am I! I often tell him how proud I am of his work ethic and diligence.

I surprised myself one day, though, when he came home and asked if he could apply to be a driver assistant. He was excited. This opportunity meant more hours, more pay and a step up the package handler ladder. Maybe one day he could deliver packages, not just load them.

So why was I hesitant, upset even? I gave him my blessing, but in my mind I had some ugly thoughts. I wondered…
Is this really what the last 13 years have been about? Why did I sacrifice untold hours, years even, to facilitate his education? The good days of accomplishment and the bad days of tears? All so my son can become a truck driver?
This mother, a Christian, is aware that the world's idea of success can sneak in and become a mother's idea of success--especially when a mother has invested sweat and tears in her child's education.

We all feel Cheryl's angst from time to time, so a few reminders never hurt: What's important to God in regards to our children's futures?

Before we answer that, let's look at what's important to the world.

What the World Values:

1. The world values power, even if a powerful position yields a relatively low income. The president, for example, doesn't make enough to get rich, per se, but he's often considered the most powerful person in the world. The same goes, on a smaller scale, for managers and CEO's. Even if they aren't highly paid, the world deems their power significant.

2. The world values money, even if it's earned by buying and selling, rather than creating or establishing anything. The output or value of the work is not as important as the dollar signs.

3. The world values prestige--respect given to a position in society, rather than to an individual.

What God Values:

1. God values his own glory.

Isaiah 42:8 “I am the Lord, that is My name; I will not give My glory to another, nor My praise to graven images.”

Charles Spurgeon writes, "The great end of God in Christ was the manifestation of his own glorious attributes." Everything that God does is for his glory. His greatest passion is his own glory.

2. God values souls.

2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance

3. God values the least of his people and cares about how we treat them

Matthew 25:33-40 "The Son of Man will put the sheep (good people) on his right and the goats (bad people) on his left. "Then the king will say to those good people on his right, 'Come. My Father has given you great blessings. Come and get the kingdom God promised you. That kingdom has been prepared for you since the world was made. You can have this kingdom, because I was hungry and you gave me food to eat. I was thirsty, and you gave me something to drink. I was alone and away from home, and you invited me into your home. I was without clothes, and you gave me something to wear. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you came to visit me.' "Then the good people will answer, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and give you food? When did we see you thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you alone and away from home and invite you into our home? When did we see you without clothes and give you something to wear? When did we see you sick or in prison and care for you?' "Then the king will answer, 'I tell you the truth. Anything you did for any of my people here, you also did for me.'"

4. God values humility.

Psalms 18:27 For you save a humble people, but the haughty eyes you bring down.

Psalms 149: 4 For the LORD takes pleasure in his people; he adorns the humble with salvation.

Proverbs 11:2 When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom.
5. God cares about our sorrows.

1 Peter 5:7 2 Cast all your anxiety on him for he cares for you.

Corinthians 1:2-4 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 

Now, let me paint a picture of a godly man for you: He works hard each day to support his family using the talents God has given him. His motive is to care for his family and bring glory to God, not raise himself up in society's eyes.

He's a good steward, seeking higher income if it's possible, but not at the expense of his family's spiritual health. They need him to be their leader and a leader must be present and involved, somehow.

He takes his family to church and pays his tithe, and sets aside offerings for the poor. He watches over the family's money, insuring that their spending patterns bring glory to God, and not to themselves.

He doesn't seek recognition or fame or prestige, but works hard with integrity, letting God receive the glory for his successes. If he gains influence, he uses it to turn hearts toward God and publicly praise his Holy name; he's not ashamed of the gospel.

This is the dream we should have for our sons. Not that they'll have a title after their name, or a six-figure income, but that they'll bring glory to God by: caring about souls, about the least of God's people, about the hurting, and about their own humility before God.

We need to invest more time in their hearts than in anything else, because in the end, what will really make us smile about our sons? What will really bring us tears of joy? Not their titles, but their humility. Not their incomes, but their generosity. Not their prestige, but their faith.

To raise them for his glory. That's our dream and our prayer.

Prayer Time: Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for our sons and daughters. Thank you for placing your trust in us to raise them for your glory. Help us to keep our eyes on you, Father, and not on the world. May our children have Bibles and use them. May they have a heart for you and converse with you through prayer. May they put their trust in You and not in the world. May our sons lead their families well, and may our daughters create a home that glorifies you in every respect. May our children marry strong Christians and may their marriages and children make you smile. May we be worthy mothers to them all, for your glory.

In Jesus' name I pray, Amen.



Beth said...

Thanks for the reminder.

It is a small world -- the founder of Woofi is a friend of my mom. I will pray for the illustrator.

Tesha Papik said...

That is a wonderful picture of a Godly man! I have to say I know this all to well. People often ask Jimmy where he is going to college? To which he replies I want to be a plumber like my father. Sometimes he gets some strange and even mean comments. The world dose not value my husbands job as a plumber or even a pastor for that matter. However I know the truth that it is a good job that makes a good living! My sons are SO blessed to be able to apprentice under their dad if they so desire. What we do is truly not near as important as the heart that we do with.

Christine said...

Beth, I can't believe it! That connection is amazing.

Tesha, I am so grateful to plumbers! They provide a valuable service and should be respected. Our regular heater/air conditioning man is a dear soul, as I'm sure your husband is. It is indeed a blessing that Jimmy can follow in your husband's footsteps!

Lisa said...

Well said, Christine.A few years ago, our home school group was on a field trip to a dairy farm, owned by a wonderful, godly Mennonite family. We were watching the 18-year-old son of the owner of the farm load up the cow manure and haul it away, when I heard one of the mom's behind sarcastically whisper to another mom, "How would you like it if your son drove a manure truck for a living?" I heard the other mom giggle at the thought. I couldn't believe my ears! My hubby and I have always prayed that our children would love the Lord with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength. As long as they put Him first, what difference does it make if they what their occupation is?! It's really sad that you find this attitude amongst Christian home schoolers.
thanks for good reminder, my friend.
Much love.

Christine said...

Oh, my Lisa. I hope the host and hostess didn't hear her comment. It certainly is snobby and insensitive.

I think too, what kind of man would I want as a son-in-law? Certainly a godly man would treat my daughter better and wouldn't be distracted by chasing his own dreams, rather than God's.

Owning a farm and running it takes a lot of team work and smarts. I would think it deserves respect? Her comment is puzzling.

Good to hear from you! Sorrry for the delay but the kids' letters are on the way.