Children are just like their parents, they require hope to thrive. Perhaps the greatest enemy of hope is performance. Performance is also the great enemy of the gospel. To take this progression one additional step; performance is the great enemy of your children.
This statement appears to raise a contradiction. If children are to obey their parents, how can we not talk about performance? This is exactly the right question! The answer may surprise you. To be distinctly biblical, obedience must be connected to hope, not to performance.
Too often, the message children receive about obedience is this:
“Obey or face the consequences.”
This should not be the theme of biblical obedience. Ephesians 6:1-3 is a wonderful passage to encourage children to obey. But, please look carefully at the words and the encouragement in the passage. Paul is not saying:
“Children obey or else you will be in big trouble.”
He is saying obey your parents and you will be blessed. Wow, what a difference in perspective! This should not be a surprise, given the truth of the gospel. The message of the gospel is good news. Jesus died for your sins. He suffered the consequences of your sins. He paid the price of your disobedience so that you could live a life that is not motivated by performance but by gratitude.
The gospel does not invite you to be saved so that you can perform in order to please God. It says that since your performance is unworthy, Jesus died for your sins and offers you the grace needed to bring honor to your heavenly father. That is hope!
This the hope that your children need to thrive. Performance motivation robs your children of hope, because then can never be good enough to overcome their sin.
3 thoughts on “Children Thrive on Hope”
Wonderful!!! 🙂 I was meant to read this! Growing up, I definitely was performance driven….and it’s true, I never felt like I measured up! With my children, I fear I was placing the same expectations regarding performance on them that my parents unwittingly placed on me! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!! Looking at things through the eyes of God certainly changes your perspective! 🙂
Thank you Jay. This message is timely in my own life and ministry with children. Having the right perspective on hope in guiding and leading our children is a responsibility given to us by God.
God bless you for your faithful obedience to that “still small voice” that we might grow in the understanding of God’s plan for His children.
Love this! This truth is applicable to many other areas of life, as well.