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How to Lead Your Child to Naturally Find Their Purpose
You are your child's biggest fan. From clapping when she first counted to ten all by herself, to cheering like crazy at her high school graduation. As parents, we take the head position in our kid's fan club the moment they're born and hold a lifetime membership.
And every moment along the way is an opportunity to tell someone else. It's like part of the parent code or something. We all do it!
Telling everyone we know about our kid's latest accomplishments brings joy to our hearts. And now it's even easier with social media. Voila! All our child's cutest pics, funny sayings, and their latest successes are up and waiting to be seen at the click of our i-phone.
There's nothing wrong with sharing your life on social media or telling your family and friends all about what your child just did. But there's a real danger of ending up at the proverbial sign up table of the My Kid's Better Than Your Kid Contest.
Just watch Toddlers and Tiaras and see what I'm talking about. Sure, all the "stage mom drama" is way over the top, but each one of us has had the temptation to walk down that road.
It's tempting because we all believe our children are totally awesome. Or at least we should!
Keep Your Eyes on the Right Prize
The only problem is this "contest" serves no purpose. It's really just a trap. An orchestrated distraction with the mission to keep our eyes fixed on the surface instead of the deep greatness inside of our children. The purpose for which they were created.
We all have a purpose and gifts, talents, and passions that leave clues to finding that purpose. As parents, we're able to use those clues to help our child find their purpose. And to answer that age-old question - what am I here for?
But too often we default to short-sighted traps like the trap of comparison. Comparison between your child and someone else's.
If we follow the path of comparison, we miss out on something profound - who our child really is.
Comparison always breeds insecurity
If we allow our minds and hearts to compare our children against someone else's or even their sibling; we'll either be left with a feeling our child doesn't measure up or we'll place them on a high pedestal.
Neither outcome is healthy or beneficial to us - or our child. Whether you see your child as higher or lower in this life; both views will lead to insecurity. And if not dealt with, will be passed on to your child.
So, why does a view of superiority lead to insecurity, too? Because living live on a pedestal above everyone else will eventually cause fear. The fear of falling.
This is where perfectionism and the fear of making a mistake enter in. Both are devastating to the heart of your child.
And let me just say, this stuff happens every day - in every type of family. Most of time these feelings and actions are so subtle they go, in large part, unnoticed. But they're no less damaging.
Each one of us was created on purpose, with purpose, for a purpose. We're all uniquely designed and suited for our purpose in life.
We all have greatness inside of us. But because of the dark and fallen world in which we live, this greatness must be pulled out and revealed. But it will never be revealed through the avenue of comparison.
We Must Consult the Map Maker
So even though you already see your kid as awesome; we must learn to resist the temptation to stop at the surface and see our child for who they already seem to be. But instead, choose to dig deeper to find the hidden greatness that even your child himself can't see yet.
As parents, we must find that greatness as if we were on a treasure hunt because we are.
There is great treasure on the inside of each of our children and we have to give our lives to finding it and then unveiling it to them so they can see it for themselves.
Look around. There's insecurity and self-doubt everywhere. Society offers up a perfectly engineered image that we'll never measure up to. But that's not the image we should ever be looking to anyway. We are to look at the image that we were made by - God's. That's the only image that will ever reflect back to us who we really are.
It's the only image that looks back with love instead of contempt, hope instead of doubt, purpose instead of emptiness.
In order to effectively go on this treasure hunt, you must have a map. And as we make a decision to leave behind the surface good stuff in search of the GREAT stuff; we must go to the map Maker.
We All Need a Guide
We'll never be able to truly know our child's potential, or our own for that matter, without seeking our Creator. Spending continued time praying for our children is the foundation for seeing greatness in them.
Mothers and fathers help to bring children into this world, but we can never claim to have created them. When that sweet baby is placed on your chest; you don't know who they are yet. This revelation must be discovered and revealed over time.
Every child has a path and as a parent; we must guide them into finding it.
We must resist the desire to guide them onto a path that we have created for them. This is dangerous because chances are; they weren't created for that path. And your path will only lead them to frustration, disappointment, and depression. For evidence of that - just look around.
Outward success doesn't compare to inward fulfillment. It doesn't matter if your path seems to fit or seems to work for them. In the end, we find true peace on our path - not someone else's.
With that in mind, we can focus on the adventure of discovering our child's true greatness.
Now, let me stop for a moment and define what I mean by greatness. I'm not talking about some prodigy or genius in your child or something they can do better than others. That's getting back into comparison.
Greatness is that something that stirs on the inside of their heart. This something lives in the deep places of their heart - put there by their Creator. It has to be found.
It never hangs out on the shallow surface. It lives in the deep. All priceless things must be searched for.
Purpose Isn't Found Overnight
This is why being able to see greatness in your child is a life-long process. But most of the work should be done early in their formative years.
The earlier we can get them to see their greatness the more likely they'll be rooted and grounded in their purpose and give their lives to accomplishing it.
In the beginning, we must guard their innocent hearts until they are more mature and able to do it themselves. We need to set up deliberate gates that keep out words, thoughts, and images that cast doubt on who they are.
And we must be hope injectors. Just like those meat flavor injectors that we use to penetrate the flavors we want deep into our chicken and steak dinner. In that same way, we should be injecting words of hope and encouragement into our child at every possible moment.
In their early years they must be told day in and day out that they were created special and unique. That they have a wonderful purpose in this life. Even if it's not known yet.
The world we live in tells us it's bad to be different, so we must work intentionally to teach them otherwise. To love and embrace their differences as well as others'.
As they grow and as we work to cultivate a deep and open relationship with our child; we'll see and hear that greatness - that something - rising up.
When it rises up, your child will instinctively know it, but may be afraid of it and try to bury it. This is where the hope injecting comes in. The more they embrace they have a purpose; the less likely they will run from it.
When we see their greatness rise up; we need to be a loving mirror who reflects back to them who they really are. They need this from us. This world can be very cruel and doesn't just offer up free encouragement. We must be that for them.
And let me say this. Teenagers are not doomed. They simply lack purpose. They can't see their greatness. If given the chance to see who they really were; they'd be freed from the torment that's been labeled as teenage angst.
This is why the work is best done from the start. But it's never, ever too late! If you have a teenager who's lost and hurting - Pray.
Pray that their heart be opened to God's plan for them. It might be too late for your words right now. But it's never too late for you to cry out to God to keep them and show them their something. He can do it. He will do it.
Your child's greatness, and yours too, is desperately needed in this world. The reason there's so much hurting in our world today is because people have lost the ability to believe in purpose. So we wander.
It's time to stop wandering. It's time to go on a treasure hunt! Decide today to seek the Map Maker and go on the amazing adventure to find your child's greatness and show it to them as the greatest gift, after Jesus, they could receive.
And if you don't know your greatness. The steps apply to you, too! Let's all leave the cheap surface behind and decide to go after priceless deep as a lifelong mission.
Let me know how you helped your child see their greatness. Leave a comment below and share your story so help someone else!
Hey there! I'm Brandi and I'm crazy excited you stopped by! To get to know me a bit better, my story's right here. And to learn about what Family Felicity means and how we can help you really rock your motherhood journey, check it out here. If you're a mom looking for ways to make your life easier, more enjoyable, and filled with passion and purpose - you've come to the right place! Welcome!
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