Does God have a specific purpose for your children? What is it? How do you find it? How do you help them accomplish it? Today AMBrewster helps Christian parents understand the importance of God’s will, and starts on a journey to discover exactly what God wants your children to do. Parenting has never been so cool!
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What is the purpose of life? Does God have a specific will for your life, for your children’s lives?
Welcome back to Season 6.
This Season we’re getting super practical. We’ve talked about playing games, what to do if you find your child with pornography, family talk, Sanctified Sustainability, anger, how to respond to “I don’t know,” and chores.
And over the next 5 episodes we’re going to talk about whether or not God has a specific purpose for your child, what it is, and how to help your child discover it.
I’m very much looking forward to this study; I use it every year with the boys with whom I work at Victory Academy.
If we as human beings don’t have a purpose, then we can do whatever we want, but if we have a Creator, then we know He created us for a reason. Answering this question is one of the most fundamental necessities of life.
But before we go on, I’d like to remind you that Truth.Love.Parent. is a listener-supported ministry. We have a wonderful group of Patrons including Scott and Mindee who believe in our mission to glorify God by equipping dads and moms to be the parents God’s called us to be. Scott and Mindee believe in it so much that they pray for us, tell their friends about us, and support us with their finances.
And they would love for you to join us in that mission. The more help we have, the more resources we can create — including the eBook I’m currently writing. It will be a free resource for everyone at TruthLoveParent.com, and — Lord willing — it will point families to God’s cure for family strife.
If you’re interested in learning more about our mission, goals, and needs, you can click the “5 Ways to Support TLP” tab in the description.
Okay, so what’s our purpose?
According to Robert Louis Stevenson, “To be what we are, and to become what we are capable of becoming, is the only end of life.”
Edgar Allen Poe must have been been thinking very deeply when he observed that, “The best things in life make you sweaty.”
However, Albert Camus said, “You will never be happy if you continue to search for what happiness consists of. You will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life.” Wow, I hope he’s wrong, because then this episode is pointless.
In “The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy,” Douglas Adams tells us that, “The Ultimate Answer to Life, The Universe and Everything is . . . 42!”
However, Joseph Campbell is quick to disagree. He says that, “Life has no meaning. Each of us has meaning and we bring it to life. It is a waste to be asking the question when you are the answer.”
And — even more pessimistically — Henry Miller believes, “Life has to be given a meaning because of the obvious fact that it has no meaning.”
Thankfully, God — the Creator of the universe, your children, and us — believes differently.
But before we look specifically at God’s purpose for our children’s lives, we need to understand God’s opinions concerning the importance of His will.
So, I’m going to start with three points:
1. The Holy Spirit does the will of God — Romans 8:27 says, “And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.”
We’ve talked much about the weighty significance and implications of the Trinity. We’ve marveled that God has relationships within His own nature. We’ve discussed the love and submission He exhibits within those relationships.
This point and the next are just another layer of that divine awesomeness.
The Holy Spirit Himself submits to the will of the Heavenly Father and will of the Son.
2. Jesus does the will of God. We talked a lot about this in our “Teach Your Children to Obey” series.
3. Paul does the will of God. Paul knew that God had chosen him to be an apostle, and he submitted to that will.
So, all of this should lead us and our children to the necessary conclusion . . .
4. We must do the will of God
There is nothing more important for your life than to discern what God wants for your life and pursue it with all of your strength.
So, we’ve established that God does have a purpose for our lives, and He wants us to submit to it.
So, now let’s turn our focus to figuring out what His will is.
Let’s take the remainder of out time to consider Philippians 1:3-11. Paul, writing to the church at Philippi says, “I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now.”
Think about that for a moment. One of the greatest themes in Paul’s conversation with God is the Philippians’ faithful partnership in the gospel.
Do you think that a man who knew God’s will and devoted his entire life to God’s will would would waste his time on anything else?
We’ll talk about this more in a minute, but I believe Paul starts with this because this concept of “partnership in the gospel” is the most basic foundation stone in fulfilling the will of God for your lives.
And Paul continues: “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. It is right for me to feel this way about you all, because I hold you in my heart, for you are all partakers with me of grace, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel. For God is my witness, how I yearn for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus."
And then he gets back to the content of his prayer to God. “And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, And all discernment With knowledge so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.”
According to Paul, we do have purpose. Let’s look again at what he says:
If you want to help your children discover God’s will for their lives, it must start here.
I struggle with this every year at Victory. I’ll have guys come to my home who aren’t Christians, and though I desperately want to help them be better students and relate to their parents and stop their destructive habits, I acknowledge that none of that is truly possible or will even be beneficial aside from a relationship with God.
Now, that doesn’t mean I allow them to continue in self-destructive habits until they submit to Christ. But it does mean that the Gospel is my continual focus and drive. Everything comes back to that. The fact that they didn’t eat all of their food comes back to reflections on the Gospel. When they don’t make their bed, I try to help them understand the significance of the Gospel.
This is Evangelism Parenting.
Alright, so our children won’t be able to understand the meaning of their lives apart from a relationship with God. Following Christ is the will of God for all of us. That’s the most general and broad understanding of God’s will we can have.
Now, let’s get more specific. Paul also said that . . .
2. Our love must abound.
I did a series in February called “The Four Family Loves.” I strongly recommend you go through that study with your children as it’s necessary for them to understand and be in the center of God’s will for their lives.
Now, I can hear some of you thinking, “Okay, Aaron, I understand the spiritual emphasis, but I thought we were going to talk about the practical stuff. What does God want my child to be? What job should they have? To what school should they go? Whom should they marry?”
Well, we are going to address those questions later in the series, but I think I need to lend a machete to our theological thicket.
In their book “How People Change,” Timothy Lane and Paul David Tripp said, "You and I will only be able to understand what is valuable when we examine things from the perspective of eternity. The eyes of eternity alone can tell us what is worth living and dying for. Think very practically and personally for a moment. What are you living for? What is your goal in life? What is the end of your, “If only I had________.”
We will never do what we’re supposed to do if we’re not who we’re supposed to be.
I don’t care of your child graduates from a good school and gets a good job and gets married to a good spouse and raises good kids if they spend an eternity separated from God in the Lake of Fire.
None of those “good” things will matter outside of a relationship with God.
Imagine you pick up your pencil and try to write a to-do list, and despite the fact that there’s enough lead, and despite the fact that it’s nice and sharp, the pencil just doesn’t write.
After a few seconds of trying, the pencil says, “What are you doing?!”
Of course, that’s not strange, so you reply, “I’m trying to make a list.”
And the pencil says, “Listen, I’m not a pencil, okay? I don’t write things.”
Now, you’re perplexed, and you ask, “Then what are you?”
And the pencil replies, “I’m an iPod.”
Of course, this is ridiculous. “You’re not an iPod. You’re a pencil. Look at you. Long, slender, yellow. You have lead and an eraser, you don’t have a screen or a headphone jack.”
At this point the pencil becomes livid, “I don’t care what you think. I don’t care how I was made. I want to be an iPod. No one but old people like you even know what pencils are. But everyone loves music, and iPods are totally cool because they play the music people love. I don’t care what you think. I’m going to be an iPod.”
And so you throw the pencil away and get a pen.
My friends, it doesn’t matter what we want to do. It only matters what God wants us to be.
We were created to be worshippers, and there are only two things we can worship. We will either worship God, or we’ll worship self.
If we worship self, we’ll chase the most delusional fantasies and failure philosophies as we try to understand the purpose of life.
But if we realize that God created us to be a pencil, then we can be the best pencil possible.
That’s what I want for us. That’s what I want for our children.
That’s what we should want for them.
If you want to help your children discover God’s will for their lives, it’s going to start and end with Him.
Just like Paul says:
When we enter a relationship with God it’s because we’ve acknowledged that He is the King and we are the subject.
Obedience always grows out of a proper view of self.
Now, again, I realize this isn’t super specific. What does it really look like to approve what’s excellent?
So, now that we’ve laid our very wide foundation, over the course of the next few episodes, we’re going to work from the very broad to the very specific.
Partnering in the Gospel is the most broad view of God’s will for our lives.
More specifically, when we’re patterning in the Gospel, our love will abound, we’ll approve what’s excellent, we’ll be pure and blameless, and we’ll be filled with the fruit of righteousness.
So, next time we’re going to get even more specific concerning the will of God.
Now, it can be argued that the entire Bible encapsulates His will for our lives and our children’s lives. That’s completely accurate.
However as we put a finer point on it — on our next episode — we’re going to look at the instances in Scripture where God specifically says, “This is my will for your life.”
And then the two episodes after that will look at how to help your children find God’s will for their occupation.
And the last episode will be about helping you children discern God’s will for who they marry, where the live, what car they should purchase, what food they should eat, and so on.
I hope you’ll share episode. Helping our children submit to God’s will for their lives is the core of being an Ambassador Parent. All Christian parents need to understand and be proficient at this task.
As always, we have episode notes for you. You can click the link below to be taken there, or you can join the TLP Family and receive emails every time the notes are posted to Taking Back the Family.
As I mentioned, on our next episode we’re going to look at all the times in Scripture that God specifically tells us what His will for out life is.
That’s where we need to start.
And once we get that foundation, the other decisions in life will be easy.
See you next time.
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