They’re all asleep in the back seat. I wonder what they’re dreaming.
My Aeralind: quiet and determined to try.
My Bronwyn: growing into a strong leader.
My Sedryn: an engineering problem solver.
What will the Lord call these three little ones to pursue with Him?
More importantly, how can I prepare these little ones to pursue Him and the dreams He has for them? While in pursuit of my own dreams, am I taking the time to encourage theirs?
I’m not the best at this, I know, and I imagine I’m not the only dreamer who struggles to lead her own children. So I’m going to compile a list of habits we can practice to encourage our children to pursue His dreams for their lives.
Preach the Gospel at All Times
I love how Elyse Fitzpatrick gives the Gospel “You are more sinful that you ever dared to believe, but you are more loved than you ever dared to hope.”
As parents I think it’s easy to fall to presenting just one side of the Gospel to our children. Either we shower them with love without discipline while minimizing any wrongdoing; or we constantly point out their sin in an effort to point them to their need of the cross, but without giving them a glimpse of His love.
I fall on the latter side. I can find myself preaching the bad news of the “try hard, do better” life without without whispering frequently of my love and His love for them no matter what. I can emphasize the turning to Jesus rather than His running to us. Both are important. I need a wild Jesus who sprints after me wildly just as much as I need a gentle Jesus who whispers “My child, turn to me.”
So let’s make an effort to balance the two sides of the gospel. Let’s remind our children often of Jesus’ (and our) unfailing love no matter what they do. And let us also be bold enough to talk about and discipline for the sins we see in their hearts that make the love of Jesus that much more needed.
Stop & Listen
I don’t know about you, but I’m a busy mom. I’m cooking dinner, driving to events, vacuuming the dirt tracked in by three under five, serving my husband, and trying to finish just one of those six books stacked high and half finished on my desk. And I’m doing all that while trying to pursue my business dreams. I can hardly keep up with what’s on my plate. I’m dashing around the house picking up this and that while trying desperately not to burn dinner (again) when one of my three comes up to me wanting to show me some treasure, or drawing, or ask yet another question.
It’s easy to shoo them away. It’s not so easy for me to turn down dinner to a simmer and simply soak in the marvel of my almost five year old drawing me her first Christmas tree complete with a star and presents right in the middle of June.
By stopping what we’re doing and listening to these little moments, we reveal that we treasure our children’s little hearts. With every little conversation, we whisper “You matter to me. I want to hear what you have to say. I want you to share those dreams.” <— Click to Tweet.
Teach Them What it Means to be Brave
If you’re chasing after a dream, you’re no stranger to fear. It’s present every day. There’s this overwhelming urge to just curl up in a ball and give up.
My Bronwyn is scared of the water. She loves to be in the water, but if you take her Puddle Jumper off, she starts saying things like, “I’ll get in the water when I’m ready.” For my fearless girl, this is pretty much the equivalent to lying on the floor crying and shaking like a leaf.
Over and over, I have to whisper to her “Being brave doesn’t mean we’re not scared. Being brave means you’re scared, but you do it anyhow because it is the right thing to do.”
Tell Your Own Dream Stories
Not just the story of what God is doing now: tell your children what you wanted to be when you were little. Tell them about that novel you wrote in seventh grade. Tell them about how He works through those things. Tell them about how those dreams changed you. Let them hear about your triumphs and your failures. Let them see the joys and sorrows of chasing after dream callings.
Compliment and Encourage Them
Sincerely compliment and encourage them in their pursuits. Tell them about the qualities you see that God has put in them. Notice the little things and point them out. Whisper to your children the truth that the Lord can do great things through them. <— Click to Tweet.
I think the work of raising a dreamer is primarily teaching your children to see His hand and His love working in their stories. Verbally telling them how you see the Lord at work in their lives is the best gift you could give them.
Which area of raising a God-sized Dreamer do you struggle with the most? What things do you do to encourage your children to dream big dreams? Did I miss anything here?
Shared by: Melissa Aldrich