He had that look in his eye.
You know the look.
That way of silently expressing that this young man has got things to do and places to go.
You could tell he felt a calling on his life – a sense of purpose and a hope for the future.
Yes, that young man had a vision.
There was a time when I thought a boy either had it . . . or simply didn’t. But I don’t believe that anymore.
I believe parents can encourage vision in their sons.
That it’s not merely a matter of chance, but an internal calling that can be brought out and molded into something solid and real.
And I believe it’s never too late to appeal to that small flicker of fire deep inside his soul.
How Do You Instill Vision in Your Son?
Encourage his unique strengths and gifting.
Sometimes a son’s strengths can seem almost odd, even out-of-place when he is young. You worry about him and wonder. But don’t. Maybe he’s bright, overly-social, not-social-enough, a tinkerer, funny, or serious. Whatever he is – God made him that way and He has a plan for that boy of yours.
Don’t impose your dreams on him.
This is probably the biggest mistake parents make. They want their sons to fulfill their own dreams. But, please, don’t do this to him. Let him live out his own God-given desires and goals for his life. Even if it looks a bit differently than the picture you would have painted for him.
Be bold and offer some direction.
This might seem to contradict what’s above, but it doesn’t. I’ve heard more than one guy confide that he could use a little help – maybe even a little push – to get going in a direction. Often a young man feels the pressure of having to pursue something but has no idea what that “something” is. So offer guidance as to his best options and then together set out specific steps toward the goal.
Don’t play down his passions.
When our oldest son was quite young, he confided that he felt a sense of urgency to “save America”. So, yes, it was hard to keep a straight face when a little boy is making such big claims. But as the years went on, his vision matured and inspired him to work hard, to study hard, and reach beyond what he might otherwise have achieved.
Surround him with strong role-models.
Our son shared that – in addition to his father – the example of other godly, leaders had a direct impact on him. He’s read many biographies, watched a few inspiring films, and took note of the leaders in the Bible, like King David and his Mighty Men (II Sam.). As his parents, we also pointed out the great – if quieter – qualities of the men in our local church body.
Stand behind him.
Let him know you believe in him. That you are confident in what God is doing in his life and what He has for his future. Swamp his insecurities with your unwavering faith in his abilities and all the possibilities. He needs to know you are behind him all the way.
A Strong Vision
I don’t need to tell you that in this present age we could use a few good men with a strong vision for the future. So let’s do everything we can to encourage these young men to be seeking all that God has for their lives.
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope (Jer. 29:11).
*What are some of the other things you’ve done to instill vision in your sons? Or if you have inspiring stories or examples to share? I’d love to hear them!
In His grace,
- 21 Questions Your Son Really Needs You to Ask Him
- A Rite of Passage for Moms with Boys
- How to Raise A Good Son in a Decaying Culture
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