Before we jump in to the third part of our series on Jesus-Centered Parenting, let me say this: If you are not a parent, or the majority of your parenting years are behind you, this week’s topic applies to you if you are in any sort of leadership role at work, school, or on a team. So read on!
As a parent, you are sort of like an elder to your child(ren). 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 child 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. I don't remember exactly her indiscretion, but I remember making a conscious decision to not just correct the error, but to try something different.
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 this 'vision casting' thing with my kiddo."
I remember walking into my daughter’s bedroom, sitting on the floor next to her bed where she had plopped down in anger. I began to explain what she did was wrong and why it was wrong. But rather than simply 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. I “cast a vision” of a person other people wanted to be around and how I saw her as that type of person. Then I began to explain how her behavior from moments earlier worked against becoming that type of person I believed she wanted to be.
As I sat there on the floor, casting a vision for my daughter’s life, there was a change in her countenance. Rather than sulk, remain angry, or jump through my parenting hoops so she could get back to whatever she had been doing prior, she looked at me differently with a look of inspired hope. It was a powerful moment.
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, ESV
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, ESV
When you truly listen to the vision God has cast for you to pursue under His Sovereign hand, it encourages you and instills you with hope. In fact, when you truly believe His words in Scripture and His work through the cross, you are so inspired that no matter how bad it gets, you know God is with you, He is for you, and He will see you through whatever comes your way.
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. As you do so, you are creating the opportunity for them to receive hope and inspiration to become the person God is creating them to be.
So try it out. Cast vision for your kids and see if it makes a difference.
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