March 16 I Thursday
“Do not wear yourself out to get rich; do not trust your own cleverness. Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone, for they will surely sprout wings and fly off to the sky like an eagle.” —Proverbs 23:4-5
Where should we encourage our children to place their hope? As Christian parents, we should encourage children to place their hope in God. For non-Christian parents, they will give their children hope in the wrong things, such as good education as the key to their future, professional success as the key to their satisfaction and earning good money as the key to their comforts. Some would even give their children hope in good looks, where parents would gift their children plastic surgery as a graduation present from high school. Others would say marrying the right spouse is the key to their life.
Many of these things are entirely valid, like being well-educated and having successful careers, but what if the child does not achieve professional success, make good money or get married? When these things are the hope that we instill in our child, we are setting them up for embitterment and discouragement. I have worked with university-aged students for many years, and talked to many of them who live with the fact that they are disappointing their parents, because their parents instilled these expectations in them. Sadly, some of these students come from Christian families.
About wealth, Paul tells us, “Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment” (1 Timothy 6:17). As parents, we should encourage our children’s hope to be in God. What God wants for us, He will give to us when our hope is in Him. We should not put our hope in secondary things; even with plastic surgery, when our hope is in God, we accept ourselves.
We must teach and show our children that life does not consist of our possessions, our performance or our position. Even as Christians, these secondary things can easily become the goals we set for our children unwittingly because they are such a normal part of our world. These are not the goals of our lives. Pursuing God is the goal of our life. Our true hope is to be in Him and in the outworking of His will and His purpose.
As we reflect on how we should guide our children in where to place their hope, may we take a moment and reflect on our own life—where do we place our hope? Is it in our possessions? Our performance? Our position? Or in God alone? When our hope is in God, we will naturally impart what truly matters in life to our children—to the next generation.
Prayer: Gracious God, I confess that I have placed my hope in possessions, performance and position when it should be placed in You. Renew my heart and mind. You are the goal of my life.
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