My Kids are young. . One is two, and the other is three and a half. Our challenges right now are things like potty training and learning to share, not peer pressure and crowd influences. But that doesn’t keep me from pondering the future.
With two babies born so close together, it has been easy to be overwhelmed by the diapers and feedings, the sleep schedules and laundry. But the thing is, I don’t want to just survive. I don’t want to merely get through the day.
I want to be intentional. Purposeful. Biblical. I want to strategically raise the next generation for Jesus. I don’t want to be so bogged down in survival that I fail to focus on the endgame. And what’s the endgame, you ask? Ultimately, of course, it’s heaven. But between now and then?
I want my children to become leaders.
I want them to be exceptional. Change-makers in the world. People of excellence. And my dream for them doesn’t necessarily hinge on their careers. Honestly, I don’t care what track they choose. I just want them to love Jesus so much that no matter who they become, they share Him with their audience. Teacher, doctor, pastor, plumber—what does it matter, as long as they have a missionary’s heart?
It’s so easy to be a lemming—those cute, furry little animals that live in the Arctic. During migration, they travel en masse without questioning the direction of their group, even if it means they all run off a cliff into the sea. People are like that too sometimes. Our desire to be accepted can overwhelm our common sense, and we just follow the crowd without thinking. I really, really don’t want to raise a pair of cute little lemmings.
The thing is, my heart breaks a little when I look into the future. Because I know it won’t be easy on them. Every culture is different, but here in the West where we live, being excellent doesn’t make you popular. Being honest, smart, confident—that’s a recipe for social disaster in most young peer groups. As a mother who adores my kids, I’m realizing that I’m going to have to toughen up a bit if I’m going to help them through what’s ahead. Because I want them to be something more than “cool,” something better than “popular.” I want them to have integrity. I want them to shine with the love of Jesus. And I want them to be unashamed of their leadership potential.
Being the pastor’s kids doesn’t make it any easier. Someday, I’m sure I’ll have to tell them that our dreams for them are not a byproduct of Daddy being a pastor. We would want this for them no matter what work Daddy does. Maybe that will take some of the pressure off. Maybe it won’t—I won’t know until we get there.
In the meantime, I’m seeking to preserve their sweet innocence as long as possible. Helping them to love church and their church family. Encouraging their little personalities to blossom. Praying with and for them every day. Teaching them Bible doctrine. Hoping to somehow give them the immeasurable gifts of self-control and self-discipline and an understanding of the priceless value of all God’s children.
Because ultimately, if we’re not raising leaders for God, then the world will make them into lemmings.