Parents want their children to be happy. But what is happiness?
Today in our culture, happiness is often defined as getting what you want and having it on your own terms. And so the message of many schools to children is to follow their dreams and believe in themselves.
We have heard this advice often; maybe we give that same advice to our own children. And rightly so, since there is a “dream” within each of us we are called to follow, and we do have to believe that we will be able to fulfill it.
There is something missing in that message, though, and that missing piece is what makes the difference between happiness and unhappiness--feeling fulfilled or feeling empty.
How different it is for child to see that their dream, the desire of their heart, is a call from the God who loves them and who created them out of love. Even if that call seems difficult to follow, God is the one who takes care of every step along the way if only we ask Him.
No longer is that child the center of his or her own universe; rather, a loving God is there who cares, guides, and protects as well as calls.
Should this child believe in himself? Of course, because with God all things are possible. The child doesn’t have to look at an impossible situation and convince himself that he can do it. Instead, a child who believes in God knows that “I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me” (Phil 4:13).
At the center of each person’s life is a dream, a call, or a mission. But at the center of the dream is a relationship of love with God, who has known your child from all eternity. One’s life’s work is nothing without the one called us to it. He is calling us to Himself.
Your child is in school for six hours a day, five days a week, for many years. The message of the school's culture will either build your child
up in faith or wear faith away.