Dream God’s Dreams For Your Children

A student who went up to the next grade level met his teacher for the first time. The teacher looked at him with mean eyes and said, “I heard you were the number one troublemaker in your previous class. I am watching you!” The student thought, “Wow! I have a reputation to keep! I better make sure I don’t go down to number two.”

Such is the power of expectations. To paraphrase J. Grant Howard, Jr., “We have a picture of the perfect child, but we get an imperfect one. Then we have two options. Tear up the picture and accept the person, or tear up the person and accept the picture.” That is, our expectations from our child can either be encouraging or devastating.

That’s why we have to be realistic and responsible. Realistic because setting our expectations too high or too low can cause frustration on both the parent and the child. Responsible because we have to model what we expect from our kids. We can’t say, “Do what I say. Don’t do what I do.”

I encourage you to base your expectations on the Bible. This is what God expects from your children: “Children, you belong to the Lord, and you do the right thing when you obey your parents. The first commandment with a promise says, ‘Obey your father and your mother, and you will have a long and happy life.’” (Ephesians 6:1-3, Contemporary English Version) Align your dreams for your kids with God’s dreams for them. I believe you will not be disappointed because God will empower your children to fulfill His will for them. Philippians 2:13 assures us: “God is working in you to make you willing and able to obey him.”

Remember the student? He met a loving Sunday school teacher who believed in him. That ‘troublemaker’ is now Dr. Howard “Mr. Christian Education” Hendricks. Through his teaching ministry, he mentored people like Dr. Charles Swindoll and Dr. Bruce Wilkinson. He is already ninety-plus. But he is still teaching in Dallas Theological Seminary impacting Christian leaders who impact the world. All because somebody expected he could be the best. We could do the same to our kids.

Brethren, dream God’s dreams for your children.

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