Friday night, upon returning to my hotel room I received this email from Lori, age 16:
Dear Miss Lynn,
Could you help me? Life is just very difficult right now. I am trying so hard to be everything everyone wants me. I am working to be what a good college is looking for. I try to please my parents, get good grades and do all the right stuff. I just feel so very sad. Is this what it is all about?
My heart broke when I read Lori’s heart. Having just spoken to a wonderful group of young ladies on the powerful, revolutionary love of Jesus, I was particularly tender towards these precious girls. (One sweet young lady had come forward for prayer that evening, asking for prayer for her mother who is on drugs. This precious teen is now in foster care.)
Friday night I had asked several girls, “What do you like to do?” Many would answer with a list of different activities in their lives. Several followed up by saying, “My mom makes me do it.”
When I see the burdens these young girls carry it breaks my heart. It also causes me to ask the question: How much of these unrealistic burdens do we, as parents and adults, put on our children?
Our society puts an excessive amount of value on what our children do, rather than on who they are. I know. I am one of those parents who struggle.
The weight of this pressure drains the joy out of their childhood; pushing them to become competitive, driven overachievers. Is this the way they are bent? Or is this just another way as parents and youth workers that we look in the wrong places to receive our value?
When the adults in their world seek their worth in the wrong places, it leaves our children with the understanding that these empty places are where they should seek as well.
They grow up to work jobs they were not created to do because there is where they will find “success”.
They play sports they long ago lost passion for because they are softball players. What they do defines them rather than who they are.
How can we help them to find their God-given gifts; their God-inspired plans?
* Help them take a spiritual gift test to discover those gifts. Click here to find a link to a spiritual gifts test online. It might be fun to do together!
* Help them to find their God-inspired passions. My Focus on the Family article gives more insight.
We need to keep in mind, my friends, our Father did not entrust them to our care for our greatness. They were entrusted to our care to point them to His greatest.