Intelligence, success, happiness, fame, talent, health. I am supposed to want these things for my children. I have heard many times, "I just want my kids to grow up to be successful, responsible, contributors to society." Or I've heard this one many times, "I just want my children to grow up to be happy." These sayings sound so wonderful and yet so hollow and empty at the same time.
As a parent, I was given these fragile, impressionable, priceless little lives to mold. What do I want for them? What is my ultimate goal in raising them? Do I want them to be healthy? Do I want them to be successful? Do I want them to be smart? Do I want them to "realize their full potential?" NO! My ultimate goal; the only thing that matters to me is that they know and love Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. Without this nothing matters. The thought of them not choosing, not knowing Christ, makes me dizzy and sick to my stomach. However, if they know Christ and they get cancer (God forbid), I know that they will be comforted in Christ and that I will see them again in Heaven; If they are not the sharpest tool in the shed, they know that Christ's power is made perfect in their weakness; If they are not the CEO of a Fortune 500 Company, they know that they can do whatever it is they choose to the glory of God.
Happiness, success, intelligence are all fleeting, empty, and hollow without Jesus. I feel as though Christian parents have lost sight of this in America today. We say that we want our kids to know Christ, but we are lazy and unintentional about it. Maybe we do not really believe that our kids will go to Hell, ETERNAL TORMENT, if they do not choose to follow Christ. It is not real to us so instead we spend all our time encouraging our kids to follow their dreams, to use their brain, and to behave, all for the sake of raising happy responsible contributors to society. We may even incorporate church on Sundays and prayer before meals because we want them to have God as a part of their lives. We forget that God does not allow us to have Him as a part of our lives. God requires the WHOLE of our lives.
I have had this burden on my heart as I watch well-intentioned Christian parents miss that the ultimate goal in our parenting should be to lead our children to the cross, to point them to Jesus, and to exemplify His love. I am in the process of discovering that this is a huge task, a high calling, and not for the faint of heart. It requires much patience, endurance, and most of all Christ's power. My daily meetings with Him are vital as I count on His strength and wisdom and power to constantly point my children to Christ as we go about our daily lives.
I take my calling as a parent very seriously and I have no desire to fail my children. I pray that one day, when my kids are grown and I am still on this earth serving Jesus, I will look to my right and my left and see my children serving alongside me taking down the gates of Hell and growing God's kingdom. Furthermore, I pray that when Ricky and I are in Heaven bowing before the King of Kings, Noah, Maia, and Malakai will be right there with us singing His praises at the top of their lungs.
In light of that picture, intelligence, health, and success seem pretty meaningless...