By Paula Bowlby, Associate Early Childhood Pastor
Woodland Hills Church
What do you want to be when you grow up? How many times have you heard this question? If you are like me, you heard it when you were growing up and you still hear it asked of your child today. Myself, I am a live in the moment kind of gal. I dream about the future and imagine what it would be like but I don’t necessarily plan for the future. As I raised my children, I dreamt about what they would be doing, where they would live and what my role would be in their lives. My dreams took twists and turns; some of it came to pass while many of the dreams did not. As my children grew, my focus shifted from what I wanted them to be when they grew up to whom I wanted them to be when they grew up.
The question I would like to propose today is WHO do you want your children to be when they grow up? What character qualities would you like them to have? What values would you like them to have? How would you like them to interact with each other and those around them? What are you doing to propel this forward?
A friend is hurting. My daughter got the call: “I need you.” Tests loom, a forgotten paper needs to be written, and I watch my exhausted daughter process her choices. She can put her friend off or she can try to get it all done. Who is she going to be? Is she going to put school first or people first? Does she put herself first or others first? Who is she going to be?
We as parents get the privilege daily to help develop who are children are going to be. We get to help instill the values that we feel are important. For both live-in-the-moment and future-planning parents, instilling values this way works! We are daily molding our kids’ characters plus helping them decide who they are going to be while shaping their future.
“People are more important than grades,” my daughter said out loud as I drove her to be with her friend. In that moment, I was pleased with who she had decided to be. It is the who not the what that furthers the Kingdom and furthers relationships. So as we raise our children and decide what school they should attend, help them pick their classes/activities, and have them home for the summer, let’s take time to pray on how we can help them become WHO God created them to be.