There is one deep need that every person, every child, has that most parents don’t even think of addressing with their kids.
I truly think that the reason it has been overlooked by so many parents for so many generations is simply because adults tend to become consumed with their own lives (climbing the corporate ladder, running a business, fulfilling their purpose, etc), or they simply don’t know what to teach their kids or how to lead them in this area.
Do your kids wake up on purpose or drag out of bed?
Have you ever heard, “I’m bored!” or witnessed your child just wasting their day away (maybe even days) playing video games, or just not doing much on purpose?
Maybe your son or daughter is just not happy unless they are doing something really fun and exciting, and when they aren’t being entertained they don’t seem to have a heart for being productive or contributing?
These can all be symptoms of kids living without purpose.
While I will honestly tell you, I don’t hear “I am bored” because my kids know that I will assign them a chore or job of some kind, there have been moments and even days where I can see an agitation in a child and I know in my gut it is deeply rooted.
About six years ago our son, who is now fourteen, was going to work with his dad and my husband could just tell something was on his mind. So he asked him what was up and was shocked, in a good way, by our son’s response.
“Don’t laugh at me dad, but I just don’t feel like I am living on purpose. I am ready to get a job and do something–make some money!”
Being the entrepreneur my husband is, he capitalized on this moment and engaged our son about purposeful living!
Since then, it has become apparent to us that all children have this same desire our son expressed so eloquently.
Children are mini adults and have the same basic need we all have… to contribute, to be needed, to have a purpose, and to be living on a mission.
Here are three basic purposes we have taught my kids over the years which has inspired in them a sense of purpose and mission right where they are in their season of life–childhood and teenage years.
1) Our Collective Purposes as Christ-followers & people of God
2) Seasonal Vision & mission
3) Unique Personal Calling & Exercising Spiritual Gifts
First of all, parents, if you are NOT living these out in your life, your kids won’t even know what it is they desire. These are modeled by you first! So as I am sharing with you what we have taught our kids on these three basic purposes, ask yourself “Am I living this out?”
1. Our Collective Purpose as God’s Children, His Family, HIs Bride, His Church, as Christ-followers, as Born Again Believers Living by the Leadership of God’s Holy Spirit:
- To Glorify God and Enjoy Him Forever
- To Know God & Make Him Known
- To Love the Lord Your God with All Your Heart, Soul, Mind, and Strength– to Obey Him
- Partner with His Spirit in the Great Commission
This is your opportunity to talk to your kids about what it means to really know God and enjoy Him! You can’t enjoy Him if you do not know Him! How do we know God? By studying His holy Word!
Are your kids studying God’s Word so that they can know Him and thus enjoy fellowship with Him? This is one of their purposes and its the same for us!
How does one GLORIFY God? We glorify God in our relationships, in our attitudes, in our praise of Him and acknowledgment of WHO He is and WHAT He has done and IS DOING STILL! We glorify God as we OBEY Him!
Are you and your kids OBEYING GOD? Are you glorifying Him in your everyday life, your relationships, your attitudes, etc???
How do we make God known and partner with Him in the Great Commission?
Many kids think they can’t be a missionary because they are too young, but they fail to realize that they are missionaries by how they have such a beautiful faith and belief in God! How they obey mom in the grocery store impresses upon people that there is something different about that kid and family!
When they get a compliment for helping mom, teach them to respond to the cashier by saying, it makes me happy to help because I love my mom and I love to obey God in honoring my mom!
2. Season of Life Preparation
As their parent, I would encourage you to remind your kids that this is the season of their life when they begin preparing and learning–that this NEVER STOPS, but that they can’t possibly have an answer for the atheist they are witnessing to if they don’t know their Bible. This is the time to PREPARE!
PREPARING is part of a child’s purpose! This season in their life is lived most purposefully if they are learning about who God is, what His word says, and developing spiritual disciplines that will last a lifetime.
There is SO much to learn in life. It is crucial that they understand their place as a student, rather than a teacher. It is also valuable they are taught that this is the best time in their life –when they can devote themselves to learning so THAT they are prepared for entering into adulthood, where they are expected to contribute to society, be a valuable citizen, possibly marry, and provide and lead a family.
3. Unique Personal Calling & Exercising Spiritual Gifts
God has a plan and purpose for every one of your children.
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11
We know from 1 Corinthians 12, Romans 12, Ephesians 4, and 1 Peter 4 that God has dispersed gifts among His people for the edification of the whole Body of Christ. God has a plan for your child and part of that plan includes the role they will play in the Church!
Helping your child to understand how God created them, what makes them tick, how they are wired, what their core values are, and what gifts God has given them can be a really fun aspect of parenting!
One thing many parents don’t do is help their children to exercise their gifts among the Body. This can fulfill a deep sense of purpose in your child. But again I ask you, are you modeling this?
Do you use your gifts for the edification and building up of God’s people? Because our children will follow what they see.
I hope I have challenged you to think more about the purposes God has for your child, right now, in the season they are in under your leadership. We have a tremendous responsibility and privilege to lead our children toward living on purpose now.
Thank you for the gift of our children. They are such blessings to us, but we acknowledge that you created them for more than blessing us! You have a unique purpose for them apart from us and we get to witness and help them discover that! Give us wisdom as parents, to lead them to You and to shepherd their hearts in what matters most. Might our children understand that You have a purpose for them right now! In Jesus Name, Amen.