There are many messages out there for our kids. Some align with our values, some we hope they never cross our kid’s ears. These messages come through the media, peers, and parents, among other sources.
Lately I’ve been wrestling with choices in my life. I imagine this is a common struggle among men who are balancing their career pursuits with family. My life was thrown out of balance due to my recent growing passion that could easily develop into a side business. Now, if you looked at either my schedule or my to-do list, you’d think there’s no way you would be able to pursue a side venture! (unless it only required 5 ½ minutes a day)
I’m glad my conscience is active and I was sensitive to the imbalance which enabled me to make efforts to put things right. But this has gotten me thinking about the Christian life. Many things somehow keep boiling down to the simple concept of submission (or you could use the word obedience) to God.
Some messages in our culture can seem innocent. There’s a message in our culture that you might call the American gospel. It’s called “Follow your dreams” or “You can accomplish anything you want to”. I’m glad for this, in some regards, because it has probably advanced society and made things easier for us. But from a Christian perspective, this has a subtle and possibly undetectable pull away from God.
As Christian parents, we know that the best thing we can do for our children is to teach them to obey everything God commands. It would be very tempting to be lazy and default to the “Follow your dreams…follow your heart…You can be anything you want to be…” attitude. Won’t it create conflict to tell a child to obey God AND follow your own plans for your life? In the end, they will have to choose one or the other (or continue to live with an internal struggle.)
I suppose this is just as loud of a message for myself. It’s almost cliché anymore for a father to sacrifice his family relationships in order to provide for them through his career. I think it is necessary for Dad (or Mom) to work in order to provide for the family. But there comes a tipping point when it’s not worth the relational sacrifice.
I want my children to learn to obey God and follow HIS plan for their life. How will I ever teach them that if I am caught in the struggle?
Oh, the pull the world has on us! May God’s pull be stronger!
(And may my arms not get ripped off in the battle)
Good points Ben. I guess I would like to think that my dreams may also be God’s dreams for me – that maybe the two things aren’t mutually exclusive. I know that isn’t always the case but I know that God has a part in the thoughts that end up becoming my dreams.