Monday, June 05, 2006

Gifts or Idols? Part II

Question number 2 from my earlier post asked, "For what purpose are we raising our children?"

Often the pagan answer is "To be successful." Occasionally the more astute Christian will say, "To become godly adults." or "To glorify God." The problem is what that actually means in practice...but that's question #3....

Being a Christian, I want to focus on the Christian answers. I'm afraid they fall short. Sure, being godly adults and glorifying God are fine goals, but they are too broad. For those of us who embrace the sovereignty of God in all things, we understand that each child was planned before the foundation of time to be placed in our specific family and that each child also has a very specific role already laid out for him by God. God knows the plans He has for each child (and us, too, for that matter!).

So we can come back to our question and look at it a little differently. What is the purpose for which we are raising our children? That purpose has been predestined before the foundation of the earth. Our children have each been given specific gifts, talents, and strengths with which they will accomplish the good works God has planned for them. Our job as parents is to carefully study our children, to ascertain those gifts, talents, and strengths. Then we are to reference Scripture for direction (for example, for the roles given to the genders), and then capitalize upon those giftings within the confines and guidelines of the Scripture. In other words, we need to look carefully in order to try to isolate the specific purpose God already has for our children.

It is imperative that we do not just follow the ways of the world by letting others have their way with our children for countless hours each week. How could we possibly know our children well enough to make these types of determinations unless we spend the time with them? But I stray into Question #3 again....

So the bottom line is that the purpose in raising our children is very specific, and thus different for each child. Our task is to determine that purpose based on knowing our child, and knowing what Scripture has to say as well.

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