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My husband and I dedicated each of our children to the Lord in special services. At our son’s dedication, our pastor read Scripture revealing God’s view of children and family, and then he challenged us to consecrate ourselves to the task of raising our son in a Christian home. He explained that the purpose of the service was to help us appreciate our duty to train our son in the knowledge of God with the hope that someday our son would accept Jesus Christ as his personal savior. Then he said: “God has a purpose for this child’s life. To find that purpose and to live it out will mean success; to refuse or ignore it will mean failure no matter how much worldly acclaim may come.”

That is an outstanding statement. It would be easy for me to measure my son’s success by many other standards, his grades in school, his athletic ability, his social skills, his future career or his future family. It’s easy to judge myself by these standards, too, but even if I got high marks in every one, I could still be a failure as far as God is concerned if I did not use my life to serve Him. On the other hand, I could be a failure in all of these areas as far as the world is concerned but I could still be a success in God’s eyes if I fulfilled the purpose He has for me.

I’ve heard before that Christians should live their lives for an audience of One. This does not mean that we should not care what others think of us (after all, sometimes we need correction and guidance), but it means that if we live to please God, then we are fulfilling our potential, no matter what the world thinks of us.

I pray my kids are getting that message.

Read Mark 9:33-37.

“Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, ‘If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all.’ He took a little child and had him stand among them. Taking him in his arms, he said to them, ‘Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me.’ “ v. 35,36

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