Parenting Goals (Part 1)

Typically, parents are concerned primarily that their children be happy in life and successful in their occupation. But these are fool’s gold. Frequently ‘happiness’ is in direct correlation with what ‘happens to me’. So to be happy, my circumstances must be favorable to my desires. This inevitably leads to disappointment. And no amount of money or fame can buy happiness. Often the opposite is true. Fame and money are like bubble gum: exciting and refreshing at first, but of no lasting value to a healthy life.

First and foremost the Christian parent should desire that their children be Christ-like, as that is God’s goal for them and you (Romans 8.29). If your child follows after Christ, then they can be used of God no matter what occupation they may take up (Col. 3.23-24; Phil. 2.13). Consider the following:

  • The prophet Amos was a shepherd.
  • Abraham was a successful businessman in his day.
  • David watched sheep for his father before becoming king.
  • Daniel worked in an ungodly foreign government.
  • Joseph was sold into slavery and then thrown into jail before becoming Pharaoh’s right hand man.
  • Gideon was threshing wheat when God called him into military service.
  • Lydia was a successful businesswoman who helped start the church in Philippi.
  • Matthew was a tax collector.
  • Peter, James, and John were commercial fishermen.

Too often we press our children to great occupations instead of pressing them to be great men and women of God. We even are tempted to raise the position of pastor or missionary to a level of prominence to where our children desire those offices for wrong reasons. We find example after example of men in the bible that held the office of prophet, priest, or scribe who were ungodly to their core. Don’t teach your children to desire positions, teach them to desire God.

You are the example your children will learn the most from. Share your experiences of following Christ in the workplace and live Christ before them in your home.

Further reading: Gen. 18.19; Deu. 6.4-7; Prov. 22.6; Eph. 6.4

David Harris is the Senior Pastor at Faith Baptist Church. A former programmer, in his free time he enjoys spending time with his wife Kim and trying his hand at the illusive craft of smoking meat.