Monday, August 24, 2015

Three New Words I Am Saying To My Kids

There are three new words I have been saying to my kids.  No, it is not "I love you" or "Don't do that".  The three new words I have been saying are:

I started saying this to my kids, mainly the older two, when I realized I was making a flaw in my parenting.  I guess I would classify what I did with the kids are realistic parenting, or maybe it was an attempt to help them not be disappointed when things did not go their way.  Here is an example of what I mean.

Nathan has played hockey since he was in kindergarten.  A couple of years ago, Nathan started to be interested in playing goalie.  I was actually against it.  Goalie pads are much more extensive (as they should be due to the higher level of protection needed) and therefore much more expensive.  I also told Nathan that there is only one goalie on each team.  There are many other positions to play on the actual team, and it probably wasn't good to put all of his eggs in one goalie basket so to speak.

Well, this year he is starting football.  He has had several people tell him what a great arm he has, and he should play quarterback.  However, as we drove home one day, I heard my son reiterate the words I myself had said to him when he want to be a goalie.  He said there was only one quarterback on the team, and he couldn't hope to be that one guy.  My heart sunk!

I had done that.  I had taken a dream and squelched it.  I had taken hope and showed him there was none.  I had showed him to not strive for the impossible when the truth is God is in the impossible business.

A similar thing happened with my daughter who has flip-flopped about whether or not she wants to go to college.  We were discussing it one day, and she said, "I don't know if I want to go to college.  Eighty percent of people don't even work in the field in which they get their degree."  Again, I had said that to her!  I don't know where I heard that statistic, but I guess I have always quoted it.  I had squelched the dream.

Why do I do that?  I could say I am being a realist and able to see the small percentages of people who go on to be the only goalie, the starting quarterback, or that graduate from college who actually uses their degree for their entire life.  Who am I to say what God has planned for my kids?

So, what I have started saying to my kids is, "Why not you?"  Could they be the one to make big changes in their dorm, on their team, for their country, or for their church?  Why not them?  Who am I to say what plans the Lord has for them?

Ephesians 2:10 (ESV) says, "For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them."  If God has predestined work for each one of us to do, I should try, unless it is not biblical, to encourage my kids in whatever dreams they have.  The truth is that God might be leading them in a certain direction, and I have no idea what his plans are unless he reveals it to me!

I searched around online to see if I could find the phrase "Why not you?" to use as a picture for this blog post, and I was shocked to find so many.  In fact, Russell Wilson has started an organization called the Why Not You Foundation.  Russell Wilson is a Christian who is a quarterback for the Seattle Seahawks.  He says that his father said the same words, "Why Not You?, to Russell when he was the same age as my son.  Same age as my son.  Same position my son wanted to play.  The same words I said.  It gave me chills!

So, the question for my kids and even for myself is, "Why not you?"  May the Lord lead, reveal, and bless as he sees fit.  God might have plans beyond any of our imaginings, dreams, and desires for ourselves and for our children.

"Jesus said to them and said, "With man it is impossible, but not with God.  For all things are possible with God." Mark 10:27, ESV

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