The Curries

The Curries
Keith and Patricia

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

TRAINING: The Happiness/Purpose Connection

     Most parents today would say that their goal for their children is “happiness.” Unfortunately, the end result of that journey to “happiness” most often ends in disappointment. The kids grow up to drift from one thing to another, many move back home, and the elusive butterfly of happiness is farther away than ever. As Christians, the path is not so mysterious.
Psalm 139:16
All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.

     Throughout the Bible there are numerous passages that clearly indicate that God created us with something in mind. Neither we nor our kids were created to drift. Discovering that God has written the path for us to follow is a big-time revelation. It is also the starting point in happiness.

     Let’s start with this thought: We are all more alike than we are different. We were all made in His likeness, in His image. We were all made to be like God. In one big overwhelming sense, we are all born with the same purpose. This purpose is stated in different ways in God’s book but the same meaning keeps popping up. We were made to do His will. We were all made for His pleasure. We were all made to glorify God.

     Jesus had this same purpose. He came to do the will of the Father. In connection with that overriding purpose that we all share, Jesus mentioned some smaller purposes that were unique to him in his journey on earth.
•    I must preach the gospel to all the villages.
•    I did not come to be served but to serve.
•    I have come that they might have life . . .
•    I did not come to judge the world but to save it.
•    I came to seek and to save the lost.

     Those are only a few of the short-range purposes that he expressed. There were others. This is true for our kids also. Each one is born to do the will of God, but the outworking of God’s will in their lives will be expressed in many different ways for each one. As parents we must get involved in helping our children discover their unique purposes so that they do not drift into aimless adulthood.

    Chuck Swindoll in his book You and Your Child quotes a familiar passage with a different twist.
Proverbs 22:6 
Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.
     He explains that a child is born with a certain “bent.” He has abilities, preferences, strengths already built into him; and one of our jobs as parents is to help our children discover these things. Included in that will also mean that we help them discover what they can’t do, what they don’t like, and where they aren’t strong.

    In other words, God has written purpose in the Bible but also in our DNA. When he formed the inward parts in the mother’s womb, God wove traits from mom and dad together, but that is not all. He also wrote and formed and wove us together out of his own plan and purpose and desires. Each child is more than the sum of his parents’ DNA, he is also carrying some surprises written into him by God. Read Psalm 139 and see.

    As parents, we have awesome opportunities to watch and discover the innate gifting of each of our children. We have the responsibility to guide them in discovering how they are made for God. We will have the joy of seeing them walk out lives of purpose.
In my mother’s womb, you shaped and formed
Every detail that I am.
There’s wonder and mystery in every cell
And I thank you for who I am.
Your wondrous works are on display;
I see and I’m convinced
I too am made by Wisdom’s touch
Marked by Your fingerprints.
The moment when the sperm and egg
Were joined by intimate hearts,
Invisibly, skillfully, You designed
And chose my intricate parts.
You wrote the code for my DNA
With traits from Dad and Mom.
And then with laughter in Your eyes,
You added traits just for surprise:
The print of my Maker’s thumb!
In earliest stage, my course was mapped
And coded by Your hand.
Your purpose written in my heart
My life designed and planned.

     Next week, we’ll explore some practical ways to discover the purpose for each of your children.