I’ve only been a mom for four years—but that doesn’t stop me from worrying about my children’s future. I constantly wonder what the next decade, or even the next year, will hold for them. What profession will they pursue? Will they be able to sustain themselves financially? Will they make good decisions? Will they find the right spouse?
Some parents obsess so much about their children’s futures they set out to “groom” them for greatness. They expose their kids to Mozart in the womb, begin piano lessons at age three and perform child aptitude tests to discover their talents. While I don’t expect my kids to achieve international fame, I do over-analyze their behavior; I’ve often heard this referred to as “futurizing”. The process reminds me of the time I brought my son to work. I was horrified when my co-workers gathered around to greet him, high-five him and ask his name—he just stood there and stared at them. As I walked to the car, I began to worry. Will he be okay socially? Will he be too shy to make friends? Can I send him to a school where there are lots of people?
The other night, my husband put this experience into perspective for me. As he prayed for our son, he didn’t pray for the perfect school, great friends or even pristine health; he simply asked God to give our son confidence in him. I may worry daily, and try to figure out the best plans for my son, but my anxiety pales in comparison to what the God of Heaven can do if my son will have confidence in him—confidence in his Word, his promises, his strength and his ability to guide him and give him wisdom.
I encourage you to do all you can to invest in your children, plan for their future and pray about the details of their life. But most importantly, I encourage you to teach them to place their confidence in God through prayer: “I depend on you, and I have trusted you since I was young” (Psalm 71:5, CEV).
If I knew my kids were turning to God in nearly every circumstance, I would worry far less. As your consider your own children’s future, meditate on these four verses:
- Have confidence in God’s plan. And so I am sure confident that God, who began this good work in you, will carry it on until it is finished on the Day of Christ Jesus. – Philippians 1:6 (GNTD)
- Have confidence in God’s protection. I have confidence in your strength; you are my refuge, O God. – Psalm 59:9 (GNTD)
- Have confidence in your relationship with Christ. In union with Christ and through our faith in him we have the boldness to go into God’s presence with all confidence. – Ephesians 3:12 (GNTD)
- Have confidence that God hears you. We have courage in God’s presence, because we are sure that he hears us if we ask him for anything that is according to his will. – 1 John 5:14 (GNTD)
Nena Podbury is a project associate at American Bible Society. Originally from the Bronx, she has co-authored children’s curriculum and served in children’s ministry for 12 years doing Sidewalk Sunday School. Nena is married with two children, Noah and Emilia.