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October 6, 2014

5 Weird Things We Want for Our Children

As parents, we want so much for our children, and sometimes, it's easy to focus on fulfilling their every dream...fulfilling our dreams through them...seeking to make sure they are happy in all situations; but is that really where our focus should be?

"Our greatest priority as Christian parents is to gradually transfer our children's dependence away from us until it rests solely on God." -Craig Groeschel

After spending some time thinking about this very thing, I have compiled a list of five things that I desire for my children...and this list may not look like what you would expect.

Five Weird Things We Want for Our Children

Rejection. - As Christ-followers, we are promised rejection. If we have a personal relationship with Christ that is resulting in a radically changed life, the onlooking world will watch in confusion. Our task is to be the hands and feet of Jesus to those with whom we interact - pointing them to the grace and freedom of the cross. In doing this, there will be times when we pay a price - the loss of acceptance. I want my children to understand that they will only find complete acceptance in Christ.

"The art of pleasing is the art of deceiving." - Old French Proverb

Poverty. - It is my goal for my children to go on to careers that will provide large incomes for them? No. In my eyes, this would not be the definition of success. Am I against such a thing? Definitely not. I believe that God works with individuals to personally work out His plan for each life. For some, this may mean monetary wealth. For others, it may mean living with very little in the eyes of the world. My heart longs for my children to be successful in ways that have nothing to do with money. I want them to know love follow after all that He has called them to do - whether it brings a large paycheck or not. If they become doctors, I pray that they will not only minister to the physical needs of their patients, but also their souls. If they become teachers, my hope is that they will not only teach intellectual knowledge, but also inspire hearts. If they become lawyers, my desire is that they will seek to "do unto the least of these" - allowing God to be the ultimate judge of all things.

"If you listen, God will show you something that makes your heart ache on behalf of his. He will bless you with a burden." -Craig Groeschel

Failure. - I want my children to understand that - in their own strength - they will fail miserably. Apart from the Savior, they are nothing and their abilities are wasted; but in Him, they have everything they need to pursue His calling on their life.

"God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever." - Psalm 73:26

Sacrifice. - I want my children to know sacrifice. Even now, I want to train them in the understanding that the world does not revolve around them. In the day-to-day, am I teaching them to share? Am I teaching them to give? Am I teaching them to put others first? Am I teaching them to give up something they want in order to bless someone else? I wholeheartedly believe we were placed on this earth to glorify God and to encourage other people. Does the way I'm raising my children match that?

"No one is useless in the world who lightens the burden of it for anyone else." - Charles Dickens

Discontentment. - I do not want my children to be content with the status quo. I want them to strive for excellence in all that they do. Perfection? Absolutely not. I want them to come face to face with the grace that we are so abundantly offered, but I most definitely do not want them to settle...or compromise...I want them to seek after God's very best - understanding that His best may not always match their plans, but it is still best.

"Faith in God's revelation has nothing to do with an ideology which glorifies the status quo." - Karl Barth

You see, when our hearts are in tune with the Savior, we will filter every aspect of life through a lense that is very different from the one used by the world around us. We will stand out - We will be the minority - We will be considered weird.

"If you want to buck the norm and have what few have, do what few do." -Craig Groeschel

I do not want my children to know the same acceptance, wealth, success, contentment, etc. that the world seeks - I want them to live with an eternal perspective - which will most definitely look "weird" to some. 
WEIRD: Because Normal Isn't Working by Craig Groeschel

If you enjoyed this post, you may also like to read Four Qualities I Want to Instill in My Little Ones:

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