“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)
From the first time parents hold their little bundles in their arms we wonder who they are and what they will become. Then the flurry of activity begins, exposing them to everything imaginable, trying to create their destiny. We put them in sports as soon as they can walk, place them in “school” at age 2, and sign them up for music lessons all in hopes of giving them an edge over everyone else. At the end of the day we collapse in bed to recover from the hectic pace! Now I’m all for well-rounded children exposed to all the good that is possible for them. I’m just not for the worried and worn out part!
Thankfully the Lord’s advice to us all is “no further.” All the leg work has already been done. The Lord knows the plans He has for our children and His plans will complete them in every way giving them: safety, health, financial prosperity, contentment, peace with others and, most of all, peace with Him. All of which define the word shalom, the Hebrew word simply translated here as ‘prosper’. It speaks to the Lord’s desire for every believer. His plans prosper us making us better off than when we started walking with Him. That’s good stuff and works out better than anything we could come up with.
“Okay Vanessa, but the cost of living these days is ridiculous and the economic outlook is bleak. If they don’t have top scores from the top schools and a slew of extracurricular activities, how are they going to make a living?” I hear you, but what God has for them to do will more than meet their needs. Not only that, His favor surrounds them as a shield (Psalm 5:12). Their quality of life will be high because they’ll be doing what they are designed to enjoy and by His grace they will be able to work peacefully with others.
“So what’s my part?” you ask. Reveal God’s heart toward them in the person of Jesus Christ: His loving nature demonstrated at the cross and His full payment for their sin to give them His righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:21) and peace with God (Romans 5:1). Share it with them from ‘morning till night’ as you go about the day (Deuteronomy 6:7). The more they hear the Word the more they’ll respond in faith (Romans 10:17, NIV) and trust in Him to order their steps (Proverbs 3:6). If we’re honest, that’s enough right there to keep us busy!
Bottom line, the number one thing we need to “expose” our children to is God’s Word, in particular the revelation of Jesus Christ all throughout. As you meditate on His love for you and your family, your fears about the future will melt away as you discover the plans He has for your children are all good!