Imagine you had a HUGE dream to build the most magnificent skyscraper in America. (Think of “The Stark” building from The Avengers Movie.)
Then imagine being told you can’t build it but your child can. How would you set your child up to succeed?
That’s what happened years ago when the nation of Israel’s King, David wanted to build a world-class Temple. God told David he wouldn’t build it but his son would. David decided to set Solomon up for success. You can re-read the story in 1 Chronicles 28.
You might not dream of your kid designing skyscrapers but you want your kid to succeed. David did four specific things for his son that are transferrable practices for those of us parenting today.
Based on this story, here are 4 practices to set your child up for success:
1) Be honest about your own failures
I asked an incredibly Godly dad recently, “How can I raise great kids like you have?” He quickly said, “Be honest with your kids. When you mess up say ‘you’re sorry’.”
David told Solomon that he wasn’t allowed to build the Temple because he’d caused too much blood shed on the battle field. Solomon already knew but he must have been encouraged by his dad’s honesty about his own failures.
My kids already know my weaknesses. My willingness to admit them only increases my credibility with them.
2) Put other adults in your child’s life
Do your kids have other adults reinforcing your values in their life? Maybe it’s a small group leader at church, a teacher who’s taken a special interest in them, or a family member they feel comfortable with. Whoever it is, it’s just important that someone is there. And as an adult, you can help foster those relationships.
David told Solomon there were skilled workers at his disposal who “will help you in all the work.”
3) Give your child resources to succeed
You may not have tons of gold and silver like David.
You have gained some wisdom. Pass your wisdom on to your child.
You have experiences. Pass your experiences on to your child.
You probably have a stronger faith. Pass your faith on to your child.
4) Encourage your child to do BIG things & put their faith in God
Listened to how the story ends as David says one last thing to his son Solomon:
Be strong and courageous and do the work. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you until all the work for the service of the temple of the Lord is finished.
What if we repeated these words to our kids? Be strong and courageous and do the work. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you until ALL of His purposes for you are finished.