My top 5 goals in life after graduating are (list in order of importance)
Indeed, this was a very open ended question. I feared that their would be so many different answers that arriving at a sensible result would be difficult. This was not the case. While there were a few non-popular results, over 90% of the answers were the same. Listed below are the top 5 goals for our IFB teens for their life after graduating; these are listed in order of importance to our teens:
2. College Degree
3. Serving God
4. Successful Career
So what does one make out of this? Is their anything wrong with having the desire to be married or to receive a college degree or be successful at a career? No, not at all. I am sure we all wish that "Serving God" was number one on everyone's heart, but it was not by about 20%. The top two answers were by far the most prevelant: getting married and obtaining a college degree.
Where do they get these priorities? I believe they have obtained them for the most part from us. Who is 'us?' Parents, pastors, teachers, youth pastors, mentors. We have made 'success' to equal a spouse, two kids, own a home, dog, and a good job to support it all. I see parents 'satisfied' with their kids as long as they have these things. They may not be in the 'church' that parents desire them to be in, but at least they have a home, spouse, job, kids, and a dog. I mean, they still believe in God, they pray over their meals, and are sending your grandchildren to a Christian school. Plus, they are making money, have good insurance, and are living 'safe.' I have learned so much this past year in studying and reading about this 'epidimic' we have. First Baptist Hammond, Ken Ham, and others have written books and conducted seminars on the same topic. Even 'churches' (not truly a church, but claim to be) such as Willowbrook have conducted research the last two years as to the epidimic. The Southern Baptist Convention recently began studying the problem. So what is the answer? I will do my best to share what I have learned and vision next week. But for now, may we look at our young people's dreams and goals and ponder...what do I want for my children? It is easy to say, "Serve God," but by our actions, words, monetary investments, and time-what are we showing our children we desire for them?
Genesis four and five are some of those 'geneaology' chapters. Chapter four is all about the line of Cain. There we read of entrepeneurs, builders, owners, rich, famous, musicians, iron workers, builders of cities, and more. They were so successful. In contrast in Genesis five we read the line of Seth. The most any accomplished was that they "lived so many years and begat sons and daughters and died." No entrepeneurs, no rich, no iron workers, no city builders, no famous musicians. But, which was more successful? It was the line of Seth that 'found grace in the eyes of the Lord,' that 'walked with God and was not for God took him,' and that 'lived nine hundred sixyt and nine years.' It was this line that made an ark, will preach durring the tribulation, and produced the Saviour. The other line, 'perished in the flood' along with their successes and inventions.
We are not called to train up our children to be a builder, musician, or ownder; but rather 'in the way he should go.' We are a success when our children rise up to serve the Lord. They may not be great owners, builders, bankers, or officials-but should they serve God-they are a success.
I hear so often, "My child turned out all right, they stay out of trouble. So does my desk, but it's not a success. May we desire to sow in our children seeds of Godliness that will produce goals of Godliness.