How to Help Your Son Achieve His Goals
Without Pushing Your Agenda (Part 2)
by Rhonda Stoppe
While Rebekah was pregnant with the twins God had told her that Jacob, the younger would rule over Esau. So when she realized her husband was about to bless her eldest son, she panicked and took matters into her own hands.
Have you ever done something like that? I have. As a mom, have you seen the potential in one of your children, and then taken matters into your own hands to push him toward achieving tasks to succeed in that potential?
“As mom, you would be wise to realize that…
The Lord knows how He plans to accomplish His purposes through your son. That’s why pressing ahead of God with any of your own schemes is unwise. Depending on your son’s personality, here are a variety of possible negative consequences that could result from coercing and plotting for his success:
- He will realize that you are attempting to gain recognition for yourself through his accomplishments and will rebel.
- He will find himself pushed into a position he is not willing or ready to take on.
- He will become prideful, arrogant, and self-exalting.
- He will become a momma’s boy who doesn’t know how to pursue accomplishments on his own.
- He won’t appreciate his success because he won’t feel he has earned it.
- He will feel he is entitled to special treatment.
- He will be resented by his peers and siblings.
Learning from Others’ Mistakes
I am extremely grateful for the women in my life who, through their examples, have taught me how to be a godly mother. I have learned valuable lessons from them—they have made themselves vulnerable to me, and humbly taught me from their errors.
And today, when I teach other women, my teaching is most passionate when I caution them from my own regretful mistakes. What can we glean from Rebekah’s mistakes? Let’s take a look:
Don’t obsess over the immediate. When Isaac announced it was time for him to pass the birthright on to Esau, Rebekah obsessed over Jacob receiving the blessing. She did not consult God—or her husband, Isaac.
Rebekah evidently got caught up in the urgency of the moment, as if it were up to her to set things right before it was too late. I do that sometimes. How about you? I become so shortsighted by worry over the outcome of a particular circumstance I forget that God is in control and will take care of things in His time.
God’s plans go far beyond my immediate concern—and yours.
As it turned out, Isaac didn’t die right away. He ended up living for another 43 years, which would have been plenty of time for God to orchestrate what He had promised.
If Rebekah had kept her focus on the Lord rather than the circumstance, she likely would have seen God accomplish His miraculous plan according to His schedule, not hers.
If you keep your gaze fixed on the affairs of life, you will ride a roller coaster of emotions. Elation, fear, and all the feelings in between may cause you to respond without depending on God and fully considering the consequences.
When you focus on God, who is the only one who knows the times and seasons, you will develop a peaceful confidence no matter what happens. The more disciplined you are in fixing your eyes on Jesus, the more the Lord will teach you to rest in His sovereignty over life’s events.
And when your son observes your calm assurance in Christ, he will learn—from your example—how to trust the Lord in all the circumstances of his life.
Never play favorites. Jacob enjoyed staying close to home and working with his mother in the kitchen. Esau was a rugged hunter who was often away. Because Jacob spent more time with his mother, it would make sense that he and Rebekah would have a closer bond.
Sadly, when Rebekah’s elaborate plan of deception was played out, she seemed more concerned about Jacob receiving the birthright than about how her deeds would affect Esau. Rebekah’s preferential treatment drove a wedge between her sons.
While it may be a natural tendency for you as a parent to be drawn to the child who shares your interests or is easier to talk to, playing favorites with your children will fuel disastrous dissension.
And if you have a stepchild or an adopted child, you must work extra hard to treat all of your children fairly. Partiality is sure to produce volatile consequences among adopted kids or stepchildren.
Romans 2:11 says, “There is no partiality with God.” This is one of several passages of Scripture that teaches God is committed to loving each of His children without favoritism.
To assure peace among your children,
follow God’s example and commit to loving every one of them
without preferential treatment.
As you walk in the Spirit—that is, live in submission to His leading in your life—He will equip you to love each of your children with a selfless, genuine love.
As your kids observe your wholehearted devotion to each of them, they will gain a total sense of security. Resting in your unconditional love, they will be free from the pressure to measure up in some way or outdo their siblings.
Children who sense that all the siblings are loved equally will be less competitive with each other. They can enjoy their brothers and sisters without reservation as they celebrate your fond affection for every child in the family.
Through God’s strength, you can discipline yourself to express equally wholehearted love to all of your children.
As our kids were growing up, they would regularly ask, “Who’s your favorite?” To which I always responded, “Daddy.” Steve was also surveyed frequently, and his response was always, “Your Momma. You guys are all gonna grow up and leave me. She’s gonna be here when you’re gone!”
Each time our children asked this question, they were exasperated by our answers. They would roll their eyes and groan. However, every time we responded to them with the same answers, their security was reassured. Mommy and daddy love each other, and no matter what, the only one favored in this family is daddy (or mommy).
Take a moment and ask the Lord to show where you may be favoring one child over another. If God reveals something to you, are you willing to repent and make the changes necessary to make sure you are loving each of your children equally?”
When you seek God’s wisdom and help to love your children equally, you won’t regret it, because you will help to minimize sibling rivalry, while laying a foundation of security with in your home.
Rhonda Stoppe is the NO REGRETS WOMAN. With more than 30 years experience of helping women live life with no regrets.
Rhonda Stoppe’s book MOMS RAISING SONS TO BE MEN is mentoring thousands of moms to guide sons toward a no-regrets life. Her new book IF MY HUSBAND WOULD CHANGE I’D BE HAPPY-And Other Myths Wives Believe (Harvest House Publishers) is helping countless women build no-regrets marriages. As a pastor’s wife, speaker, and author, Rhonda has helped women to:
- Discover significance and
LISTEN TO THIS RADIO EXCERPT of Rhonda Stoppe on “The Road Show” with Host Laurette Willis: “Exchanging Your Dreams for God’s Plans”