We live in a world surrounded by parents who worry far too much about earthly success and forget about eternal success. If we aren't careful, we can get swept into the tidal wave of worry too:
I haven't researched enough colleges.
I didn't make sure my son was involved in every extra-curricular club.
How many clubs are enough to look well-rounded to colleges?
If he/she chooses that major, no one will ever hire him/her.
In those moments, we forget Who is truly in control.
I know there are those of you out there who don't believe that God really cares about these little details in our lives. To you, I say that God calls Himself our Father. As your child's mother, how concerned are you about these things? How much more so is your heavenly Father, Who has the ability to take care of these concerns if we just ask!
“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money. Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?"
Matthew 6:24-27 (NIV)
As we encourage our children toward their future, let us all encourage them to follow Christ. Remember that if they "gain the whole world" and lose their soul (Mark 8:36) then they have failed in the end indeed. However, this doesn't mean that our children shouldn't dream big dreams. They should reach for gigantic dreams that God places in their hearts. Then they will know the power of working in tandem with the Lord for a dream that only with His help they can accomplish. There is such joy in doing such a thing!
Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Psalm 37:4 (NIV)
I once thought this verse was the magic spell you could use to get your way with God. Those who think that way - including me - aren't taking delight completely in the Lord. Whenever I take delight in the Lord, the desires of my heart change to look like His desires for me. This change in dreams and goals can sound off-putting until it is lived. Once you have lived it, you never want to go back to those old desires.
Every college graduate who works with the intent of glorifying God through his/her work will find immense joy as God brings opportunities to do just that. On the contrary, Satan will also bring opportunities to do the opposite. If we as parents have prepared our children to take delight in the Lord and glorifying Him with their entire lives, my hope and prayer is that they will choose to follow God's path - not just in their "church" lives but in ALL of their lives, including their careers.
As parents, let us take an eternal view of our children's futures. If our children make meager salaries and serve the Lord, we can and should rejoice. On the other hand, if they make exorbitant salaries and serve the Lord, we can rejoice as well. In both cases, God is glorified in God-honoring families, using their talents to serve Him. The legacy I pray my children will choose to leave their children is this: honoring God in ALL that they do.
My prayer is that John and I leave our children that very same legacy!