Joel, sharing his music and message at a Mom Heart Conference
My cell phone rang three separate times in 5 minutes while I was driving home on a crowded freeway from grocery shopping. Finally, when I got home, I checked and it was Joy. Just as I was about to call her back, the phone rang in my hand.
"Mom, I am just so excited, I can't wait to tell you. I decided to go meet with an academic counselor today to check about all of the classes I had signed up for, and the debate coach happened to be my academic counselor. He helped me arrange all of my classes, he counseled me so that I can finish in three years, I will be able to be on the speech and debate team and learn new skills for communication, and now I have a purpose ahead and a life to conquer. My goal is to become the best possible speaker and debater and teacher. I am starting a Bible study for the girls on my floor. I am so excited about my life and what God is going to teach me!"
A drive for purpose and a desire to impact others for the kingdom of God does not come out of a vacuum. It comes from seeing deep inside of your children's hearts and drawing out the greatness that God has built there and giving them a dream for how God will use them in the world. Children, in spite of their bundle of immaturities, strengths, weaknesses and personalities are exactly what God crafted them to be to fulfill their purpose in His world.
From the time our children were wee ones, we gave each of them a part at our conferences. We said, "God has made all of us stewards of His messages of love, redemption, and His hope and life because He has entrusted us with this light that the dark world needs. What would you like to share with all the moms that might encourage them this year?"
Our two introverted children had to share as well as our two extraverted. As we knew all of us are to be stewards of the gospel, we raised them to be comfortable with knowing that they had a message that would turn their world upside down. We started with sharing our ideas and encouragement in our living room with 10 people in attendance. By faith, we kept writing and speaking and our children grew with ministry as we did. But their self image was one of, "I have something to give. My personality is a gift from God to use for His glory. I have an arena in which to bring His light that no one else on earth will ever have."
Serving meals, visiting sick, giving money, exercising hospitality and making thousands of meals for people in our home, praying, hosting Bible studies over and over and over again over the years was the oxygen of the life my children breathed. Their dreams flowed out of a life of giving and obedience that God had called Clay and me to follow.
But, we need to understand that vision of the heart is what empowers all of us, as God's children, to follow Him in faith and purpose in becoming fishermen in the world--it flows from inspiration--not from moralistic rules or laws to be kept.
If you as an adult cultivate a heart and excitement about how God might use you to reach His world, it will be catching to your children. Jesus modeled it to His disciples, as he taught them and loved them, and so they followed in His footsteps.
It is a natural extension of life--and so it becomes an exciting expression of vision as our children go into their own spheres of influence. They have heard it, breathed it, experienced it and then live it themselves.
Read more about my thoughts on this today at: thebettermom.com