I met with a friend today who is much much younger, and newly married. I’ve been mentoring her for over a year and it’s been a most rewarding relationship for me. The experience I’ve had with moving, marriage, and parenting has given me easy answers to the questions about life that confound her. It’s only because my smile wrinkles are permanently set by time and not because I’m smart. She is smart. She really keeps me on my toes and I often eagerly await the random questions she throws at me. She makes me think. She allows me to answer with candid honestly. I enjoy the trust in our relationship. Few people can handle the truth.
Today she asked me quite out of any context, “What do you expect from your kids?” I didn’t have to think or hesitate about that. It’s something I consider carefully every day because I don’t want to place unrealistic or selfish expectations on my kids. I believe they aren’t here to make me feel good about myself. Nor are they here to accomplish the goals I couldn’t reach. They are here to discover God’s plan for their talents and gifts.
My answer: “I want them to live within God’s will for their lives.” How do you know if they are doing that? They are obeying God’s word. Which also is to say they are learning God’s words and applying them to their daily living situations. It’s the same expectation I place on myself. I figure I can only expect from my kids the same standards I place on myself. There is no greater sense of joy and peace than to know for sure you are in obedience to God. It’s a great relief and rush all at once. I wish that for my kids.