Eight Great Ways to Raise Strong Kids: Challenge Your Child to Dream Big
This blog series is adapted from "Woman of Valor" written by Marilynn Chadwick. To download the full book, please go here. by Marilynn Chadwick Blessed are those who fear the Lord…Their children will be mighty in the land; the generation of the upright will be blessed (Psalm 112:1-2 NIV). Since they were born, I’ve prayed our children would be “mighty in the land.” I believe God created us to dream and placed the seeds of those dreams in our hearts—even as children. Our children are who they are, in large part, because they followed the path of their dreams. I noticed over the years that around age ten, somewhat of a lifelong dream began to emerge. Other parents have told me they noticed the same thing with their children. So we took those childhood dreams seriously. David and I tried to identify, invest in, and protect those early dreams. We believed their dreams could be the pathway to God’s destiny. After all, He’s the one who gave them the gifts and talents to reach their dreams. One of the greatest gifts you can give your children is to believe in their dreams and invest in whatever you can in the development of those dreams. Dreaming is as natural as breathing for children. What’s not so natural is the self-discipline it takes to reach their dreams. David and I helped our kids experiment until they found something they loved and were good at. Then we’d provide structure and discipline to help them stick with it for a mutually agreed upon length of time. At least until their efforts brought some measure of success. For example, all of our children loved sports. But at different times, each would have chosen to skip out on practice, especially those grueling early morning workouts. That’s when our role was to provide that little extra push. As they got older and developed a passion for their dreams, their own self-discipline kicked in with a fierce determination. Dreams energize effort. And over time, we saw how small but faithful habits helped our children accomplish those dreams. Maybe you need to sit down with your kids and revisit some of their dreams. Ask them questions like, “What do you love to do?” “When do you feel most alive?” “What brings you joy?” You might even need to sit down with a journal and ask yourself some of those same questions. We all need to dream. Whether we are 9 or 99, we must always find ways to dream!