By Erin Bird
If you are a parent, you are sort of like an elder to your children. You lead them, shepherd them, listen to them, and help provide for them. But there is another thing you, as a parent, need to do like an elder does for a church. You need to cast vision to your child.
I remember years ago, when my oldest daughter, Karis, was about 6-years-old and had gotten in trouble. I sent her to her room, telling her I’d be up in a few minutes to talk with her. I don’t remember exactly her indiscretion, but I remember making a conscience decision to not just correct the error, but to try something different.
You see, I had been reading Andy Stanley’s book Visioneering where he uses the story of Nehemiah to talk about the power of casting a vision of a preferred future. So I thought to myself, “let me try it. Let me cast vision for Karis.”
I remember walking into Karis’s room, sitting on the floor next to her bed where she had plopped down in anger. I began to explain that what she did was wrong, but rather than just make her apologize and say she will do her best to not do it again, I began to verbally paint a picture of the type of person I thought she wanted to grow up to be, a person that people want to be around. Then I began to show her how her behavior from moments earlier worked against becoming that type of person I knew she wanted to be.
As I sat there, casting a vision for Karis’ life, there was a change in her countenance. Rather than sulk, remain angry, or blame me for being sent to room, she looked at me differently, a look of understanding and a look of hope. It was a powerful moment.
God Parents Us With Vision
All through the Scripture, God “parents” His people by casting vision. He famously told the Israelites, who were in exile in Babylon…
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11)
And Paul reminds Jesus-followers…
“…that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 1:6)
When you realize God has cast a vision for you to pursue under His Sovereign hand, it encourages you and instills you with hope, that no matter how bad it gets, God is with us and will see us through it.
Likewise, when you cast vision for your kids, it will do the same for them. Let your child know you see an amazing future for them if they will surrender to God, letting Him lead them into the future He holds for them. And as you do so, it just might encourage them and give them hope.
So try it out. Cast vision for your kids and see if it makes a difference.