By Omolara Gbadamosi
Leading children the way they should go is a God given instruction.
Jeremiah 5:1: Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.
Proverbs 22:6 (which says, “Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”) carries other undertones but my focus centers on when daddy thinks the instruction means helping his child become who ‘he’ wants his boy to be. News is, you did not create your son or daughter and so do not really know his or her path (some parents do receive divine revelations, though). The question is who gave the instruction anyway? To whom was it given? What does it really mean?
Whether we choose to believe it or not, God Almighty is every child’s real parent. Scriptures note that the earth is the LORD’s and its fullness thereof, the world and they that dwell therein. Jehovah controls everything and has a kingdom agenda for the world that would be fulfilled through men. In God’s army are the young and old, male and female. This list is includes children and God has an assignment for each and everyone. So, that child you are looking at the moment is a man with an assignment to impact his world. He has purpose.
Therefore, to accomplish the fulfillment of divine plans, God (the one who passed down His instruction to us in the first place) has deposited traits and grace within all children; traits which every parent has been given the responsibility to ‘discern’ and ‘nurture’. Dear parents, inherent in your child’s gifting, abilities and experiences, lie his path in life.
We should realize that we are merely caregivers and earthly guardians with the duty to ensure God benefits from His treasured investments. It would then be rebellion against the LORD and unfair to the child to allow him go his own way or insist he becomes what ‘you’ want him to be or try to live your dream through him. While your intentions may seem so right and logical, no man’s aspirations can ever be compared with God’s inspiration. There is a kingdom plan in which every living soul must fit into as a piece of God’s ultimate arrangement for mankind. Let us not be like Isaac who out of selfish reasons planned to transfer the blessing to Esau when it was ordained before inception that Jacob was the one to carry the Abrahamic blessing. The beauty of your child becoming all God intends him to be is that God can do exploits through him in that popular or seemingly insignificant vocation he is tailored for. If the child is to be a chef, let him be; if it is to be an engineer, so be it; if it is to become a sailor, God can his work wonders through him even on the high sea. You will be amazed how mightily God will use your child in his area of grace. I want to believe that many times a lot of parents are worried about the popularity and financial aspect of the profession or they simply want their children to opt for professions that would boost their own ego. Hmmm… these are trivial matters where God is concerned. He can ‘glorify and beautify’ any career. That is why He is God Almighty. Let go and let God shine!
So just in case you are a doctor, please your child does not have to follow in your footsteps. Good for you if he chooses to be one without your insistence. Perhaps it’s his calling. I must say that I admire the renowned Nigerian lawyer and activist who allowed his son (Falz) to follow his heart to become a musician and comedian (though not a godly choice). I’d be surprised if this decision didn’t upset his family dearly. Truth is, if we prayerfully make up our minds from an early start concerning our children’s tomorrow, then we would not be frustrated or disappointed later in life when they announce their intentions. You won’t be surprised if you’ve been involved from the onset.
With that in mind, it then means we have a major role to play in ensuring they don’t get distracted and willfully make a detour.
Remember we are made for God’s good pleasure and this implies that any child’s future vocation is meant to be one that would glorify his maker.
In case your child tends towards becoming a musician, you are to lead him from an early start to love, recognize, desire and choose to use his talent for the LORD. He is a vessel to shine the light and love of Christ. To live up to his calling, it is paramount for parents to lighten their children’s paths with the gospel and their godly lifestyles. It should not be a case of ‘do as I say’ but don’t ‘do as I do’. That’s complicating, hypocritical and misleading. I’d wondered in time past the reason Isaac didn’t act out of instinct during his journey of sacrifice but later came to understand that the young boy must have observed his father’s life of obedience unto God. This must have made it easy for him to obey and trust Abraham even when it seemed wise to outwit his father and take to his heels.
No doubt, it is an overwhelming effort in this day and age but there is grace to mirror our lives in like fashion, for God is able to help those who determine in their hearts that “as for they and their household they will serve the LORD”. Load your child with the word and the things of God and expose him to a life of righteousness by being a mobile bible. Challenges will come every now and then but He (the LORD) who began the good work in that child is faithful to complete it.
Beloved, it is of utmost priority to help your child chart his course God’s intended way. If that happens, then you and I would have fulfilled scripture. Praise the Lord!
May the Almighty God help us to lead our children to favour vision over ambition and fulfill their God-given destinies. In return, the honour that comes with being the middle-aged or aged parents (as Hannah was) of a young man after God’s heart is far greater and always exceeds human comprehension or expectations.
Joshua 24:15b …But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord. Matthew 5:14: You are the light of the world!
Omolara Gbadamosi is a Christian educator and freelance writer. You can read more of her articles about the Christian life and parenting on www.facebook.com/lampdivine or www.lampdivine.wordpress.com.