We all have hopes for our kids.
Mine are very big and very small at the same time.
I want big things: that they will know God, love God, serve and worship God and His Son Jesus.
And on the smaller side, I want them just to be better than me. I want them to master the things I’m not mastering. I want them to be a better spouse, a better parent, a better person, than I am.
The hardest and surest way to that happening is for me to be better than I am, by God’s grace.
And probably the majority of my parenting (75%?) is fear-based (mostly God-fearing, but some man-fearing too). I parent to avoid what I don’t want them to be. With fear and trembling I realize that without God’s grace and His strong tools of discipline, instruction, and love (ie their parents) my kids will be left to themselves and their sin nature.
I want to keep parenting in fear (the Godly, right kind). But I also want to dream great and Godly dreams for my kids. I want to expect the best and be ready for God’s blessings in their lives. He is a good God. He gives good gifts to His children.
It’s ok to eagerly hope for and expect God’s working in their lives. And dream big dreams for them.
What are your fears and dreams for your kids?
that they will see and embrace God’s wonderful plan for their lives always…
My big dream is the same as your big dream. That they will know the Lord Jesus Christ and serve him faithfully. Other than that, I don’t have any goals or dreams for them really. If they do come to know the Lord, I know He will guide and direct them in whatever path He chooses for them. How could I ask for more?
I don’t dream dreams for my boys. I pray for God’s plan to be fulfilled in their lives. Read Psalm 139. That should take the fear away and fill you with hope. I know it does for me:)
Dreaming is a dangerous and often hurtful thing. I’ve written about dreaming a little on our blog. As I pray and dream for my kids, it stays fairly close to their salvation. I have just begun to pray for a spouse that loves them and loves God.
And maryleigh, thanks for contributing, I should clarify that the fear I talk about is (often) a Godly fear.
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom and I do have great fear in my heart for the God who says, “I will harden whom I will harden and I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy” and “Who are you, O man, to talk back to God?”
He is a God worth fearing, and I cannot now know the ultimate ending for my kids. Having Christian parents doesn’t guarantee salvation for them. So yes, I fear Him. And this fear drives me to parent in instruction about the Lord that is more urgent, intense and less silly, than if I didn’t fear Him.
But I also trust Him. And I trust that as He did a miracle in my life to bring me to Him, He can do a miracle and breathe true life into them as well. He is a kind and merciful God. And I trust that He is using our parenting as His tool to draw them to Himself.
Hmm, I think I’ve got a little backlash against dreaming! And I think everyone is mostly right. 🙂
Knowing Christ is the main dream we should have for our kids. I think my problem lies in explaining what I meant by dreaming.
So here it is: what I mean by dreaming big dreams for my kids doesn’t mean I dream they are successful in worldly ways or that I dream a *specific* path for their life that I will later be disappointed in when goes differently.
I *do* mean is that I dream that they will be bold for sharing the Gospel. That if God calls them to a foreign land they will go. That if being a godly parent becomes “illegal” that they will take a stand for God. That they will have bigger goals and dreams than being married, but that if God does bless them with marriage, it will be a display of His love for Christ and the church. That they will care more for people than things and materialism and the love of money will never have a hold on their hearts. I dream dreams that are holy ambitions for them.
I hope that helps. My dreaming for them is closely linked to how I pray for them. Perhaps inseparable. But I *dream* things for them because it opens my mind up to the bigness of God and the possibilities He has for them (and perhaps more poignantly, for me as well).
What say you all? Am I making any sense on the dreaming?
You are so right that the praying and dreaming are almost one.
Praying the scriptures for our kids helps us to keep our personal interests out of our praying and dreaming.
When my kids were very little, I prayed and dreamt so generally–as I said earlier, that God would show them his plan and vision for their lives and that they would embrace it.
As I saw things unfolding in their lives, my prayers and dreams have gotten somewhat more specific.
In middle school, our son became very involved in media ministry and seemed to have a knack for it., I prayed that God would open doors for him in that area, which he did in a great way. Now I pray that the Lord will use him in projects that advance the Gospel.
Our two youngest kids love music. I pray and dream that music will always be part of their life, whether professionally or in their own homes, and that they will always use it in worshiping and honoring the Lord.
Our oldest daughter is very good with kids. I pray and dream that the Lord will use her to show kids his love and lead them to Jesus.
It is possible to get too specific. For example, it is a good thing to pray that our kids’ future husbands and wives will be godly people who love them and the Lord. But if we pray or dream that they will marry someone who grew up in a Christian home, I think that is getting out of line.
I also pray that my kids will love missions, but if I start dreaming that they will go to a specific country, that is out of line. The Lord may not call them to the mission field, but they might instead be great supporters of missions through prayer and giving.
It is good that we have each other to talk to about different aspects of parenting, which helps us stay on track, too.