How many times have you heard a parent lovingly say that all they really want for their children is to be happy? Like all the time, right? I think that's probably how most parents measure whether or not they are a good and loving parent. Do they have happy, well-adjusted kids. Understandable, but...
That's not my greatest wish for Michaela.
Yes, of course, I want her to be happy.
But more than that, I want her to be holy.
I've learned in the school of hard knocks (and how did a nice girl like me end up in that school, anyway?!) that circumstances have an awful lot to do with whether or not I feel happy. I have had just a few truly happy, carefree days in the last four years. The not-so-happy ones have outweighed the happy ones. However, I have a deep joy that transcends happy or unhappy circumstances, and that joy is found in my relationship with Jesus.
In Him I have assurance of my salvation and eternal life. (John 5:24)
In Him I have peace that passes understanding. (Philippians 4:7)
In Him I have every spiritual blessing. (Ephesians 1:3)
In Him I have an inheritance. (Ephesians 1:14)
In Him I have His Holy Spirit. (1 Corinthians 2:12)
And so much more!
For me to only focus on helping Michaela to thrive in school, have a lot of friends, participate in extracurricular activities, and be attractive is just not enough. Because all of those things are temporary, and I want her to live her life for eternal things. Things that will last forever.
I am one of the most inexperienced parents on the planet, but I do have more experience with life than many parents of very young children (thanks to my advanced maternal age). And my experiences have taught me that these are the things my daughter needs to learn from me.
Train a child up in the way he (or she!) should go
Because I love her so, I am committed to:
Teaching her as much as I can about Jesus.
Reading and studying the Bible together.
Praying together about everything.
Singing His praises together in the car and at home.
Attending church together.
Providing her with a Christian education.
Modeling a biblical worldview for her.
And whatever else the Lord leads me to do.
Of course I will encourage her to develop her God-given talents and abilities, and I will point out opportunities for her/us to use them to serve the Lord as well.
In John 10:10 Jesus said that He came to give us life, and that it would be an abundant life. That's exactly what I want for Michaela.