Principles that Allow for Growth in God’s Will
Part 3: Helping Your Children Reach Their Full Potential
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11).
God is in control, yet we are called to cooperate in His guiding will. According to Romans 8:28, “God works in all things for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” That does not mean we must fearfully search for a single path that we think He has planned out for us in order for us to be in and cooperate with His will. That is impossible; we cannot know the full depths of His wisdom. Rather, He knows our path as we experience growth in God’s will daily.
Trusting in Him
It is our duty to trust Him despite whatever we’re facing; He knows what He’s doing. We must trust that any experience we deem to be negative only points back to God and that we are powerless in light of God’s magnificence. Understanding this and trusting God perpetuates our increased understanding of how much we rely on God alone for joy and satisfaction, which is incredibly humbling. In light of this understanding, we are freed to pursue objectives in life, knowing that God will be with us, will guide us, will convict us, and most importantly, will change us from the inside.
God Knows Our Hearts
He knows our hearts and everything that is in us. For us that is where every problem starts, in the heart. Even our good deeds are as dirty as rags, and that’s because we’re all selfish and the motives of the heart are wicked. An analogy that has stuck with me in life is that our sinful nature is like a drop of ink in water. We’re not sinful 100% of the time, but 100% of us has sin in it, stemming from our wicked hearts.
These are some of the most important understandings that have had a profound influence in my life. These understandings have lead me to humility, trust, faith, kindness, and persistence. And if a parent can instil these facets of life in their children, their children will be equipped to face hardships in life with a right understanding that allows them to experience continual growth in God’s will.
It would not be accurate to say that this understanding will help children to “reach their potential”, because that implies there’s a limit to how much we can grow in life; there’s not. We will never be perfect or have everything always go the way we intend. We need to continually adapt, learn, push beyond our boundaries, and grow in both wisdom and love, and in the understanding that our satisfaction in life need only be in His grace.
Modeling the Principles
Do your kids see you spending time in prayer and actively seeking growth in God’s will?
Have your children witnessed a change in your perspective?
Do you make a point of communicating to your kids about what God is teaching you in your life?
Have you modeled gratefulness that God allows us to choose our own path, so we may be drawn closer to him through our experiences?
When your children have a negative experience, ask them if they can think of a worse outcome or experience. Help them see that there is always a brighter side to the story.
When children complain, dig into the underlying emotions to expose why they are feeling that way and what sin might be lying underneath the emotion. You should always be able to help them identify pride. Teach your children to diagnose their emotions so they can objectively respond to situations.
Hopefully this 3-part blog post has shed some light on the understanding and values that have been important in my life, and which have sparked my continual desire to grow as a person whose identity is in Christ. Again, every child is unique, and there are circumstances outside of our control, things and events beyond what we can understand, but faith and grace will allow us the freedom to be the best we can be in God.
If you’ve enjoyed this article but missed the first two in the series, please click on the links below to read:
Do you have an example of how you have modeled these principles that allow for growth in God's will? Please share your stories in the comments section below.