A Word From...Dan Peterson: Ambition for Our Children

Several years ago, I read a small book on humility that someone let me borrow to read. I guess this person thought I needed help in this area! The book shed light on many areas of my life where pride resides. I was made aware of the fact that we must have people in our lives that care for our souls. During my seminary years in Louisville, KY, Brooke and I were fortunate to be a part of a Soul Group with our church. This was a group designed to care for each other’s spiritual well-being. The four couples helped my wife and me to see our pockets of spiritual blindness that left alone we would never have been able to see.
Hebrews 3:12-13 states, “Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by deceitfulness of sin.”
The author of Hebrews tells us that we must help one another see areas in our lives where sin resides. I am writing about this to you because of parenthood. My wife and I are blessed to have four children in our lives, and we thank God for entrusting them to us to raise them. It is a great joy for us to partner with Regents in educating and training them. Raising children in the Regents community has made us better parents and provides the opportunity for other parents, teachers, staff, and coaches to speak into not only my parenthood, but into the hearts of my children.
In the last chapter of the book, the author discusses our ambitions for our children. It caused me to think about our ambition for our kids as adults and whether or not our ambitions are biblical. Many times we want our children to become ___________ (you fill in the blank). As a Christian parent, my primary responsibility is to prepare my children for eternity. This is a large concept and a lifelong journey, but I believe that it is biblical (Deuteronomy 6:4-9).
The book on humility posed a penetrating question: Are any of your ambitions for your child more important to you than their cultivation of humility and servanthood – the basis for true greatness as biblically defined? This question was like a bullet that whizzed by my head. It really caused me to think and meditate about whether or not my ambition for our children was God-centered. I realized I needed to have a paradigm shift in my thinking about parenthood. Truly, our ambitions for our children reflect our heart. I am thankful that God’s Word brings clarity and frames what is most important. As a Regents Dad, I am incredibly grateful for the community of people that invest in my family.

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