I unloaded the dishwasher and listened as my girls giggled and chattered in the other room. They had dumped out the pieces of a board game, much too old for them, and were making up their own rules and procedures. I smiled to myself, happy they had found something (other than a screen) to occupy a few minutes of another long summer day. I thought about their brain development and how the creative process and using their imaginations was good for it. And then my mama brain wandered off, thinking about their futures and the people they would become.
This is something I think about quite often, and I’ll be honest: I have a pretty clear vision of who I hope they will be. I believe this is important because as their mama, I am their guide, their shelter, and their steering wheel. Essentially, I help put together the pieces of their life puzzles. Without a vision (the picture on the puzzle box), there’s no way to know where the pieces go.
I am not God, of course, and I don’t hold their futures in my hands. But with a clear vision, much intentionality, and prayer, I believe I can help guide and craft them into the people He wants them to be.
I have a few families that come to mind when I envision how I want ours to turn out—people who have fought the good fight, lived intentionally, and raised children who passionately love the Lord. I think it’s important that we all contemplate those we know and ask ourselves what our goals are. Who do we want our children to be like? And most importantly, what did those families DO to get to where they ARE?
We cannot be lazy and passive in our parenting now and expect our children to somehow turn out great. It takes effort, sacrifices, and many times, hard choices. (Of course, sometimes God intervenes and transforms a child in spite of his parenting, but typically, children are the product of their raisings.)
My children are only 3 and 5, and I’m sure my vision for them will expand and evolve over the years. But right now, I’m praying they become people who are rooted in family—that they have a security at home, anchored in shared experiences and inside jokes, that they know cannot be shaken.
I’m praying that throughout high school, they have a deep, genuine relationship with their Father God so I don’t have to constantly preach that their worth is not in boys or Instagram likes. I’m praying sexual purity starts in their hearts—that they see it not as a rule to keep or be broken but as a gift from God that will give them the most fulfilling futures.
And I’m praying they have a sense of independence, bravery, and the ability to trust God and take risks.
The thought of them leaving my nest one day doesn’t sadden me as much as it excites me when I think about what they might accomplish for God’s kingdom. I’m praying they are well prepared, well equipped, and well rounded, ready to take on the world (or maybe just college at first). I’m praying they understand the part they play in God’s story and that they see their lives as eternally significant, living every day with the end in mind.
Yes, the vision is big. But with God all things are possible. I encourage you to visualize your children all grown up, too. Who will be the people coming home to your Thanksgiving table? One day as you all hold hands and gather around, may you look at the faces in your circle and thank the Lord for His faithfulness in letting you help piece together the people they are.