This week, my daughter Alexa surprised me and her mother with another role-playing stint. While she was a princess last week, and a ballerina the previous, this week she was a doctor. She'd been bought a doctor's set, and for the past few days has been giving me hourly "checkups" and about a hundred "injections" and "medications" a day.
If you're a parent, you probably know what this is like. Throughout their childhood, our kids will dream of things that they want to be when they grow up, and parents are left to wonder which one it will really be.
We all know God has a plan for our children, and we pray verses like Jeremiah 29:11, claiming that God will "prosper and not harm" and "give hope and a future" to our kids.
As parents, what role can we play in helping our kids find their true God-given purpose? Here are four things we can do.
1. Point Them to Christ
It's been told that no one knows an invention more than its inventor, an artwork more than its artist. It couldn't be truer with our children. If they want to know their purpose in life, we need to point them to their source of life and meaning: Jesus Christ. As parents, we are simply to be reflectors that bounce the glory, attention and eventually even dependence to God and His ways.
2. Set Aside Your Own Dreams for Them
The number one competitor of child's dream is our own. We might mean well when we desire certain career paths, skills or friends for our children, but their life does not belong to us. Sure they live under your roof. But like arrows (Psalm 127:4), we will sooner or later release them from our own quiver, and they will be their own person.
3. Don't Help Them Too Often
The irony behind purpose is that finding it is highly dependent on failing to find it. It's just part of the process to fail and make mistakes. If we as parents do not allow our kids room to fall and to pick themselves up when they do, we deprive them the opportunity to find and develop the calling when the time comes when they have to face it.
4. Invest in Their Gifts
Kid's dreams can be expensive, especially when they're still figuring things out. I don't know how much my parents had to invest in my education, hobbies, interests, and my calling. But I'll know soon enough as I'll probably have to put in just as much or maybe even more to my daughter as I help her find her purpose.
Calling costs money, and that's only because it's valuable and it matters. If we can put money into a new car or a golf set, we can definitely put in money into our children's purpose.