At the end of last school year I attended our preschool’s graduation. My son is only two-years-old and didn’t graduate, however he had a part in the ceremony. Not only that, but they posted in the program what the kids wanted to be when they grow up. Obviously, there are many proud parents oohing and awing over what their children had said. You can imagine my response when I see this:
It was actually quite funny. It reminded me of my role as a parent—not a children’s pastor. My role as a parent is to allow me children to dream, however my role is to narrow their focus and help them see reality.
Proverbs 22:6 (NLT) states, “Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it.”
This literally means that parents are to limit the choices of their children to help them see what is right. It’s easier to make a decision between a couple things than 50 things. When I bring my children to the self-serve yogurt shops—it’s like plucking my eyeballs out. They take FOREVER trying to decide what flavor and toppings they want. However, when we go to Chick-fil-a for ice cream. They know exactly what they want because they don’t have a million flavors.
For whatever reason my son wants to be a goose guy, but soon we will have to tell him that you cannot be a goose guy and show him what he should focus on. We’re not crushing dreams—we’re being good parents by allowing him to dream within boundaries.
As children’s pastors we must help parents in our church realize this. Many parents feel that it’s mean to tell a child what he or she can be—they should be anything they want. Though I understand the premise of the statement, they need to realize that their role as parents is to create a boundary and help narrow the path so it’s easier for their children to make decisions.