What Do You Want To be When You Grow Up? — Sunday Thought For The Day
We often hear people ask a child: “Who do you want to be like when you grow up?” Often the child will respond, that they want to be like some popular sports figure or some television personality.
Another question we frequently hear children asked is: “What do you want to be when you grow up?” The child will almost always respond that they want to be everything from a cowboy to fireman to an athlete or actor, to something in the professional world like a doctor or stockbroker. Sometimes they say that they do not know what they want to be.
My question to us as parents is when was the last time we have ever heard a child say that they want to be more like Jesus? When was the last time we have heard a child say I want to be whatever pleases God?
There are many who will scoff at what I have just asked, but their scoffing presents more questions that demand an answer. One question is why don’t we hear more children they that they want to be like Jesus when they grow up? Another question would be why would they not want to be whatever please God?
The reality is that our children say that they want to be like Jesus and be whatever pleases God every time they answer the question. We just do not understand that’s what they are saying.
Children imitate what they see and hear. They do both behaviorally and mentally. A child’s understanding of how to imitate Christ is based upon how they see their parents live their lives. The extent to which our children want to please God is based upon the extent that we teach that in the home.
The problem is that many Christian parents by their behavior send children the message that being like some famous actor or athlete is cute and/or something to be desired. Parents also behaviorally send the message that pleasing God is not synonymous with our careers. Many times parents model obedience to God as an option, i.e., something they do when it is convenient.
Sadly many parents by example show that there are things in life that are more important than church, prayer, reading and studying the bible and modeling Christ to the best of our ability in everything we do. We show children that the pleasures and pursuits of the world are more important than God. We put ungodly pursuits before God. We put convenience before God.
It is a truism that in most cases children become what they see at home. They are sponges that soak up both the good and bad. If we are permissive and smile at untoward behavior when they are young, why would we wonder where that behavior comes from when they are older? If they watch us live situational ethics in our daily lives why would we be surprised whey they model the same thing? If we model worldly pursuits to the exclusion of God why would we be surprised when as adults our children do same? If we turn our children over to unGodly schools/teachers why would we be surprised when our children become petulant and unruly?
Yes, there are children who despite the best attempts of their parents to be Godly examples turn away from the “Truth.” And while that happens, I believe the reason it happens more today than in the past is because parents themselves have become more like the world than Jesus.
5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:
10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;
11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
About the Author
Mychal S. Massie is an ordained minister who spent 13 years in full-time Christian Ministry. Today he serves as founder and Chairman of the Racial Policy Center (RPC), a think tank he officially founded in September 2015. RPC advocates for a colorblind society. He was founder and president of the non-profit “In His Name Ministries.” He is the former National Chairman of a conservative Capitol Hill think tank; and a former member of the think tank National Center for Public Policy Research. Read entire bio here