Introduction: Launch Your Child Into Their Calling
Recently, I was back home in Texas having lunch with my parents and my oldest sister. While we were all sitting together, my sister and I were chatting about raising our children and the different talents and dreams we see in each kiddo. As we were chatting, my father gently reminded us of the verse in Proverbs that exhorts parents to train up their children in the way they should go.
The verse, my dad reminded us, wasn’t originally about training children in faith. It was a charge to parents to find the God-given calling of each child and train them in that direction. As parents, one of our many jobs is to discover and advocate the skills, talents, and calling God has placed on each of our children.
The conversation made me think of another verse my husband and I have always loved in the Psalms: “Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are the children of one’s youth.” As a warrior aims an arrow to hit a target, so our children need to be aimed toward their God-given calling in life. God creates each one, knows the number of their days, and has given them an irrevocable calling. As a warrior aims an arrow to hit a target, let’s purposefully aim our children to hit theirs. Their temperament, talents, and natural pursuits will help define their calling, purpose, and vocation in life.
So, how do we do this? I believe there are 4 ways to begin the process.
Spend time asking God to show you where your children will be heading. Sometimes it’s obvious. For instance, one of my daughters has been singing all day long, every day since she was born. Sixteen years later, we have her pointed in a direction of ministry and vocation in the area of music. However, for some of my other children, it hasn’t been so obvious and is taking more time to carefully pray and watch. Don’t give up! God will faithfully answer your prayers.
Sometimes the best way to discover a child’s calling is to listen to them. What do they talk about? What is their natural bent in life? What do they spend enormous times studying, learning about, or asking to learn about? My middle daughter loves snakes. She received her first snake at 5 and has spent hours learning about them. It’s no small wonder that she often talks about becoming a veterinarian or a reptile keeper at the zoo.
As you begin to notice where your child is leaning, discover ways to open up possibilities for them. Is it lessons? Is it spending incredible amounts of time in the backyard playing ball? Is it by asking the local zoo if there is a Junior Volunteer program? Is it by finding opportunities for them to preach or speak in public at an early age? Remind them that obeying God, impacting culture, and sharing the gospel happens in every job and in every corner of the world.
This is probably the hardest one of all. Each of us has hopes and dreams for our children and we should! But, when we are listening and praying, we need to remember each child is a unique creation of God. He might have a calling or desire built into their hearts that is very different from the desire you have for them. Above all else, let’s encourage our children to obey God’s calling and champion their obedience by supporting them.
Recently, a wise man in Africa reminded my husband that raising children wasn’t just something we do as humans – children aren’t an accessory. When we raise children to bow their knee to God, to be restrained, to be full of character, and to work hard, we leave a legacy that is felt in a nation for generations to come. Long after we are gone, our legacy will continue forward and whole nations will be blessed.
What About You?
What about you? What are you doing to help your children reach their God-given calling? Please leave a comment below and share with us. We want to hear your wisdom!