If we will impart vision to our children for their future, they will be inspired to pursue excellence, do the hard things that are required, and restrain themselves from that which slows their progress.
Where there is no vision, the people cast off restraint. Proverbs 29:18
When we are working toward a very clear goal, it requires a great deal of restraint to persevere. If one has the goal to make it to the peak of the mountain, no matter how difficult, he will continue the ascent until he reaches the summit. If the person simply decides to climb the mountain with the thought that maybe he’ll get to the top, his lack of vision will cause him to turn back when the going gets rough.
If our children know where they are going, if they have a strong desire to fulfill their calling—their destiny and the purposes they feel God has given them—they will restrain themselves to do the hard things. They will push through when it’s difficult if their mind is set on the summit.
From the time they were 11 and 13, my two boys had very clear goals for their future, both requiring quite a bit of higher education. Because of this, they persevered through the harder courses, knowing this was part of the journey. They have a natural tendency to want to take the easy path, but because of their vision, they buckled down to get the work done. They knew that the work would enable them to score well on the SAT and excel in high school and college—which it did.
Over the years, our communications with our children strategically and purposefully imparted vision to them—and conveyed to them ownership of their future. We explained that THEY and THEY ALONE are responsible for their future. We can offer the opportunities, but it is up to them to take advantage of those opportunities and make use of the blessings God has given them. The doors are opened for them, but often they are only open for a short time. Will they walk through those doors? We told them stories of people that spent their youth focused on friends and entertainment, choosing not to focus on their passions and interests or make personal sacrifices to pursue them. These people ended up unsatisfied with their lives because they missed the opportunity.
My children understood that, ultimately, their future is in their hands. They comprehended that the middle school and high school years could be the most instrumental years in developing their knowledge base, expertise, and skill. They could become experts in their special interests, gifts, and talents or they could waste their days barely finishing their basic studies and leaving no time to pursue special studies.
As homeschoolers, our children have nothing but time during these years. They have the choice to squander it, or use it wisely. We cannot make them drink from the fountain; we can only lead them to it and encourage them to drink.
Let us impart vision to our children—enabling them to look beyond the hedonistic mindset that traps them in the now and helping them to realize that their future depends upon their choices today. This empowers them to restrain the tendency to pamper the flesh and feed the mind junk food.
Most of us grew up without a clear vision for our future. Many of us know the disappointment of seeking a career that pays well over that which makes use of our gifts, talents, and passions. Interestingly, most of us had a vision for what we wanted to do by middle school or high school. Because we were not given the opportunity, we did not hone and develop the skills needed to pursue that passion planted in our hearts. We were stuck in the cookie-cutter mentality of government schooling. Thankfully, we can cast off that hindrance and allow our children to run with endurance the race marked out for them.
For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:10