Our pastor has been preaching a series on the Sermon on the Mount. The overriding message has been that living the Christian life is not about behavior modification or fitting a code but about having a change of heart and being led by the Holy Spirit. This obviously affects all areas of our life but sometimes we forget that this includes what our desires for our children should be.
It is easy to have expectations for them that they will only date a certain type of person, attend certain schools, or follow a certain path. But which is the bigger priority – what WE want or what GOD wants? Does He want them to marry or to stay single? Does He want them to attend college or go a different direction? If college, which college? These questions cannot be answered with the checklists to which we can become so attached.
I had a lady once tell me that she would only allow her children to date someone who belonged to their denomination. But doesn’t this limit God? What about desiring a spouse-to-be who exhibits humility and has a heart that desires to serve God where ever He leads? You might find that spouse who lines up perfectly with the church’s creed, but what about the heart? If it’s all about rules and not relationship, you are setting your child up for a miserable life. And who knows, maybe God has a spouse picked for your child from a different church? How much better to desire what God wants instead of what meets OUR criteria of the perfect mate.
It is easier, on the surface, to be tied to creeds, checklists, and our ideals. But in reality there is no freedom in that. Until we let go and let God change our life from the inside and lead us moment by moment, we are missing out on His plan for us (and our children). So what kind of life do we desire for our children? One led by our expectations or one led by God’s eternal plan?