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If you want your child to grow up to be like Josh Hamilton, you start throwing a ball with him when he’s a baby.

You sign-him up for tee ball at age 4, and do everything you can to get him training and skill-building opportunities as he ages. You talk to him about baseball. You watch games together. You make choices every day and every year that will line-up with your vision: for your son to be a great baseball player.

If you want your child to be a great musician…actor…gymnast…football star…scholar…engineer…you name it. The path is always the same. The parent paves the path for the child to learn, grow and develop into whatever the dream may be.

Whether you want your child to go to the World Series, Harvard Law, the Olympics, or the Super Bowl…it always starts the same way. It starts with a vision.

But, what happens when that vision doesn’t work out? What happens when your child is the star of the team at age 10, but struggles to make the college team? What happens when she was first chair in the middle school orchestra, but the Dallas Symphony never calls?

What does the child have left if the only vision a parent casts for them is connected to what they do or what they can achieve?

The good news is that the Bible shows us how to cast a clear vision for our children that goes beyond what they can achieve and instead, permeates and penetrates who they are. The Bible’s vision for our children is one that, no matter what their level of success is to the common observer, guarantees our children something greater.

What is that vision? What is it that we can and should teach (and model) for our children that will give them the best chance for long life and blessing?

The vision is for our children to love and obey God.

In John 15:5, the Bible tells us that apart from Jesus, we can do nothing. This includes our children. They can grow up, be as successful as we ever dreamed they would be. They can raise families and even give us grandchildren.

But, if at the end of their life, they did it all without Jesus…it was futile. It was not a life well spent.

So, how do we cast a vision for our children? How do we teach them to love and obey God? Here are some suggestions:

Model it.

Your children will learn to love what you love. If you love Texas football, there’s a good chance they will too. If you love Jesus, the same rule applies. Remember, you can’t expect them to love and obey God if you don’t love and obey God.

Teach it.

Parenting is one teaching opportunity after another. Sometimes pointing out when we make mistakes…when we don’t obey and should have or when we’ve done wrong…provide some of the most meaningful teaching opportunities.

Point to the answer. 

The answer is always Jesus. The heart of every person, including every child, is to be saved. The job of the parent is to point to Jesus as the Savior. He is the answer to fill the gaping hole in each of our soul’s—it’s not fame, success, money, or anything else we can gain materially. The soul will only be satisfied when it is filled with the savior.

– Heather Creekmore