How to Let Your Child Be Who God Wants Them to Be

Inside: As parents, we have expectations for our kids. What if they choose another path, we can be sure that God has a plan for our kid’s lives.

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I remember sitting in the guidance counselor’s office and meeting with the counselor as we reviewed my ACT, grades, and other scores from standardized testing and then being told what career I should choose.

I also remember being told what profession I should do because the job security was there.

Did this happen to you too?

I felt so pressured to choose what someone else thought I should do.

It was a very impressible time because they change from the security of high school and adolescence was being transformed into adulthood and college.

Expectations

A bunch of people had expectations for me. Some were more boisterous than others, and it felt like I needed to make them happy by choosing what they thought I should do.

And now, I’m a parent.

Gosh! It really gives you a bird’s eye view of how hard it is to not voice expectations or even think we know better.

It starts when we bring them home from the hospital, doesn’t it?

Well, maybe a few years later as their personality starts to bud. Junior seems very stubborn or tenacious, maybe they’ll be a lawyer.

However, it starts to extend into expectations for who they should marry, how many kids they have, and what job will bring them the most success without thought to what our child would actually want.

Perhaps they are dating someone, and we feel like they could do so much better.

What we see isn’t all that inspiring, and we need to keep our mouth sealed for fear of hurting our child’s feelings.

Friend- I’m right here in the throes of launching a child off to college. And I find myself having to be quick to listen and really watch that those expectations don’t become voiced.

God Has a Plan for You (and your kids)

As Christian parents, we might forget often that these kids, they are on loan to us.

Each one of our kids is made in the uniqueness that God desires to fulfill His purpose for them.

God created them and used the parts of our bodies to house the growing child (Col 1:16).

He handpicked each of us as parents, created the special family and experiences for our child to make them a perfect fit for what He has planned.

(Ephesians 2:10, NLT).

10 For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.

Our kid’s lives are for God and His glory.

(Psalm 139:16, NLT).

16 You saw me before I was born.
    Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
Every moment was laid out
    before a single day had passed.

Many of us could probably say at some point or another that we had such different plans and desires for our kid, and it’s a little disappointing that it didn’t come to fruition.

We need to stop ourselves in our tracks. Fruition to whom? Ourselves!

(Proverbs 16:9, NLT).

We can make our plans,
    but the Lord determines our steps.

The Lord Determines Our Steps

Maybe we aren’t jumping for joy over the significant other or spouse that our child chose, but could God be doing something bigger than we can see?

God could be doing something larger in the vocation our child chose that we might not see or know about until we enter the pearly gates of Heaven.

(Proverbs 16:4a, NLT).

The Lord has made everything for his own purposes,

What we can be sure of is God is directing the course of our child’s life.

He knows what He’s doing and none of it is a surprise to Him.

As Christians, it’s hard to not get stuck in the patterns of this world.

Worldly success is flaunted in our face daily. However, don’t we want our kids to find true joy and passion in this life?

(Romans 12:2, NLT).

Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

We know that physical things will come and go, but living a joyful and abundant life in Christ will follow them into eternity.

Examples from the Bible

I tried to think of a few Bible stories to reinforce this post because we know that we aren’t the first parents on the planet to desire great things for our kids.

And while that isn’t wrong: to desire great, big things for our kids, to live a life where disappointment from expectations hinders us from seeing our kids falling into God’s purpose and plans is missing the whole crux of why they were created.

Samson

Samson in the Bible was born and dedicated to God as a Nazirite. Which meant he was to be used for God’s service, and he wasn’t supposed to cut his hair, drink alcohol, or touch dead bodies.

When Samson became of age, he wanted to marry a Philistine woman.

His parents initially objected because it was against God’s laws and he was to marry within the Israelites and by marrying this Philistine he would bring disgrace to his family.

Samson desired what he wanted and married her.

Although his parents didn’t agree to this arrangement, it was part of God’s plan to rescue the Israelites from the Philistines.

Paul

Paul (Saul) was a Pharisee as were his ancestors (Acts 23:6). Talk about expectations.

When we meet Paul who was Saul in the Bible, he was killing the followers of Jesus.

After he was meet by Jesus on his journey to Damascus, he began following Jesus.

According to scholars based on Acts 23:16, Paul’s whole family had disowned him for becoming a Christian.

Gosh, if only their eyes were open to how God would use Paul for his kingdom.

5 Tips to Remember as a Parent, (but also teach our kids)

  1. You have a purpose.
  2. To find your purpose, you need to be in close contact with God.
  3. When you know you’re purpose, you can laser-focus and not move from thing to thing.
  4. Once you fit into your God’s purpose mold, you can find joy, passion and abundance.
  5. Our purpose is big, it’s eternal.

7 Verses for Your Child to Help Them be Who God Wants Them to Be

(click on graphic to download)

As we move forward by staying close to God and praying for our kids, we can confidently know that God is in control and will direct their steps.

When life turns out different than we expected, we can ask God for the peace and comfort to know He has it all in the palms of His hands.

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11 thoughts on “How to Let Your Child Be Who God Wants Them to Be

  1. Good post. So true. As far as your guidance counselor experience, I did not have that experience. I don’t remember going over ACT results. That doesn’t mean we didn’t. It just didn’t make a big impression. I don’t remember anyone at school telling me what my direction should be. After reading your post, I’m glad about that. Your 5 tips to remember were perfect.

  2. Great post. And it doesn’t get easier as the kids enter adulthood and careers and families and children. Most of the time I’m happy with my adult children’s choices, but I’ve learned to keep my mouth shut (oh, I’ll slip up once, but never nag!)

  3. Wonderful message! I have learned these truths along the way and do try to encourage my children to follow the Lord’s call for their lives. Much of my time now is spent in prayer for them. Bless you!

  4. A great reminder for all parents that God created our children and he shares them with us. We are ultimately responsible to him as we raise them and lead them into adulthood. Because he created each child to have particular gifts that he needs to be honed and used for his kingdom purposes it is our job to help identify what they have been given and provide the opportunities for them to learn about those gifts and how best to use those gifts in ways that bring glory to the Father. Thanks for the post!

  5. I don’t want to be argumentative but this sounds like parents should sit back and not advise our teenagers if they are headed down a wrong path. I think that is our duty. Whether or not they follow the advice is another thing but don’t parents have a responsibility to speak the truth to their children? Our expectations and hopes for them are different than who they marry or how they live. Deuteronomy 6 makes it pretty clear that we are to teach them and the Proverbs make it pretty clear that children are to listen to their parents. Our children owe absolute obedience to God alone but parents are often God’s source of help for them. I apologize if I missed a point.

  6. So good. It matters not what we (parents) want for our kids but rather how we help them live into what GOD wants of them.

  7. Julie, I never had that experience with a guidance counselor in high school. But I remember taking tests that might help discover a career with my strengths, interests, and skills. And I encouraged my kids to do the same tests. Most of all, I prayed for my kids to be led by the Lord for all life choices, including careers.
    I’m still learning to let them soar with their own wings under the covering of the Almighty’s wings.

  8. I have to ask God for wisdom in how to respond to my adult children. I’m so very proud of each one, but there are times when I need to allow God to do His work in them. I love the pins you made! Pinned each one. 🙂

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