What’s the Difference?

obey god

What was the first thing you thought of when you found out you were going to be a parent?  Most of us let the movie in our head play out all the great things that our kids would accomplish – cuteness, intelligence, popularity, career choice, financial success.

How often do we dream the biggest of dreams for our kids?  We mull over all the things that WE THINK would be perfect for them; their friends, schools, careers….lifestyle.  It's only natural for us to want the very best and the biggest of successes for our kids.  No parent wants their child to struggle or to fail at life.  Those issues seem like a direct link to our falling short as parents.

I felt challenged by a sermon I heard last week as I was driving down a lonely Texas highway.  The text was from the book of Esther (Ch 7) and the focus was on Haman.  He was in an amazing position in the world's eyes.  The preacher went on about how proud his parents must have been of him.  Like us, they probably prayed for him to be successful.  But sadly, like many of us as well….missed out on what was most important for Haman's life in the grand scheme of things.  His spiritual success.

Haman's story didn't end well.  But his life does leave us with some serious truth to ponder for ourselves.

We tend to be very focused on paving the way for our kids to be SUCCESSFUL.  We put them in the best schools, sign them up for the popular sports, drag them to music lessons and we lavish them with love and attention.  All good things…..however, none of which has any spiritual substance.  It's something many of us separate from the parenting agenda.  Spiritual stuff encroaches on our lifestyle.  It takes time, it requires effort and change.  Most find religion a little stifling.  It runs roughshod over things we'd rather do and puts us in a box.  No one likes to be put in a box, right?

Besides, who wants to push Jesus on their kids?

Here's the deal.  Your kids (and mine) don't need to be pushed to the greatest of worldly success.  They need God.  They need to see HIM in us, they need to know HIM personally and more than anything….they need us to pray for them to love, obey and serve God over any other prayer we could ever pray for them.  Success in the eyes of the world will not matter in heaven.  The best or highest position at work will never mean anything in heaven.  The richest man or woman….will not be recognized for their mighty financial status in heaven.

Heaven will not house the world's bigshots.  Heaven is for the sinner, saved by grace who chooses Christ over anything else the world has to offer.  It's for those who follow, who pick up their cross and trust God with every detail of their life.

Are you praying for your children's success?  Or are you praying for them to love and follow God with their whole hearts?

There is a difference.


Forgive me for the times I've wished my kids worldly success without a fair balance of knowing YOU and serving YOU!  I know what's important here on earth…..may not have any relevance at all in heaven.  Help me to know the difference and to show my kids the true desire of your heart and not mine.




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