What I Want for My Children

The woman next to me on the plane talked about how she wanted her son to be a dentist – to have, as she put it, “an easy life – well, after he’s done with school.” I only talked to her for about 25 minutes but I could gather that her life had not been “easy,” that it had been a good deal of hard work, earning her way, searching for stability. So I had an idea why she wanted this for her son, even though she didn’t elaborate.

But it’s not really occurDSCN2960red to me to want any particular profession for my kids, not really – just jokes about Samuel being a nuclear physicist or professional storm chaser.

I just want them to know Jesus, love him, serve him, walk with him, all their days, never turning from his friendship and Lordship.

Of course I think they’re capable of more than being a supermarket cashier – but so long as they are being true to who the Lord has made them to be (which is about being, and hardly at all about doing) – then I’m at peace, I am content. Just as I am entrusted with the stewardship of these children, to teach them the ways and love of Jesus, so are they entrusted with the right stewardship of the gifts the Lord has given them. He has endowed Samuel with intelligence particularly in math, and Samuel needs to be a good steward of that gift. He’s endowed Hannah with insight into people’s hearts, and with a bent toward empathy, and Hannah needs to be a good steward of that. But what that looks like matters far less than the simple fact that they are walking with Jesus.

Yes, I know, this is easier to say when they’re six and four than when they’re on the verge of high school or college graduation (with the potential and freedom to make really bad decisions)…But if I don’t get this made up in my mind now, there’s little chance of it happening down the road.

Just as I need the long view when teaching them manners, delayed gratification, the joy of learning, and how to view and treat people – so do I need the long view when I guide them toward the fullest expression of themselves Jesus desires (best as I can understand it, anyway).

My role is steward. Now I do think it’s about the highest – certainly the most demanding – degree of stewardship we can have, but it is still a stewardship. My children belong to Jesus. They always have, always will; our “formal” dedication of them just acknowledged that and stated our intention to cooperate with it.

This means it’s not about me. Not about “how proud I am.” Not about how good they make me look or feel as a parent, or how they satisfy my need to be needed.

If my children walk with Jesus all their days – what on earth could I possibly desire for them that’s better than that?? There is nothing greater. So, so long as I am their guide, so long as I have a voice in their lives, I will not aim for less.

They can be whatever Jesus wants them to be.

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Published in: on June 20, 2014 at 6:15 pm  Leave a Comment