Saturday, July 11, 2009

Helping Our Children Find Their Calling (Part 1)

I believe that one of the duties of parents is to help our sons and daughters find their calling. Today we seem to have parents fall into two extremes, neither of which has the child's best interest at heart.

On the left side of the path is the swamp of no guidance. In this gooey, sticky mess of muck and quicksand, we lob our children, hoping that as they do what they like, they will somehow find their calling. Does he like building things? Set him up in a wood shop. Does he like to sing? Send him off to IU Jacob’s School of Music. Did he love the outdoors? He could study outdoor recreation. Whatever my child enjoys is his life’s calling, even if it has little chance of success or it is impossible to support a family doing it. He may be sucked under the muck and never be seen again.

The deep ditch on the right side of the path is the parents’ dreams ... what they did, or didn't get to do, what they think will impress their friends, what will make their children financially secure. Many a child flung into this ditch by their parents, with the best of intentions, is broken on the rocks below. Sometimes they crawl up out of this ditch bruised and bleeding and regain the path God intended for them, but not without a cost.

So if you have a narrow path of a young person’s calling, how do you help your children find it? I think there are four areas to consider: spiritual, personality, gifts, and education. My wife and I begin discussing this while our children are young, and we adjust their training as we go along to prepare them for what may lie ahead. We by no means consider ourselves expert in this area, but we are started. In the next post we will begin going through these four areas one by one.

1 comment:

Rebecca Nugent said...

Great post, Tim! We will eagerly await following posts on this subject, and it will be most helpful!