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Published on October 14th, 2014 | by Discussion Questions

What happens when you have a different dream for your life than your parents do?





T. WRITES: What do you do when what you believe God is leading you to do doesn’t match up with what your parents want you to do? They’ve had certain hopes and dreams for your future for many years, but you’ve spent many years praying about the future God wants for you, and the two don’t really seem to match up? What are your thoughts? Have any of you experienced this?


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  • Liam

    I have not experienced this. Everything my parents want me to do for academics are things that I am fine with doing. Our parents know what’s best. If you are against what they have planned for you and don’t work it out; that counts as rebelling.

    If something I want to do gets in the way with what they have planned for me, then we either work it out or it doesn’t happen. This doesn’t happen much since what I am into film, and that I can do in my spare time.

    ” ‘Honor your father and mother,’ which is the first commandment with promise” – Ephesians 6:2

    • Sam the programguy

      This is good Liam!
      The verse says “Children obey your parents in the Lord”. I think that last phrase is key. I take it to mean that God has top authority. I thinks it’s OK to become a Christian against your parents wishes. The question here is a hard one. You need to follow God’s leading. I really dont know what else to say. My parents are probably thrilled with how I believe God is leading me.

  • I feel you, T,

    A few years or so ago, my mom and dad wanted to move to Butipest, (or however you spell it) Hungry. I REALLY did not want to leave the U.S. to live in a mud hut (Okay, I know it’s not that bad, but…). You know what I did?

    I prayed… Hard. I poured out my heart to God continually. But I made it clear that I wanted His will, not mine.
    God eventually closed the door to us going to Butipest Hungry.

    Then, about a year ago, an opportunity in Texas opened up. Living in Florida, that would have been a huge change for all of us. Once again, my parents were all for it, and I was not. But, instead of being disrespectful, I prayed. I told Him what I wanted but I asked God what He wanted.

    Then the door closed for Texas.

    Then, my parents felt it was time to leave our church and find a new one. I was soooo upset. I poured out my heart again, but this time, God said, “No, Trent. I know what’s best for you, and your parents aren’t stupid. They know what they’re doing.” And, with me fighting it the entire time, we started going to a new church. I was shocked at how much better it was. The pastor was (and still is) on fire for God. The youth pastors are REALLY cool. I learn a ton and am challenged to grow in my faith. The improvement was HUGE.

    And to think, if my parents would have not made the decision that I was against, I would not have grown so much in Christ over the past 11 mouths that I have been going to this new church.

    In conclusion to all of this, I would answer your question “What happens when you have a different dream for your life then your parents do?”

    Here’s my best answer: Pour your heart out to God in prayer. He will not always say yes to you, but He will always do what’s best for you, if you sincerely seek His will. The Bible says, “And we know all things work together for the good of those who love God, who were called according to his purpose.” So, not only will God work things for your good, but He has a mission for you as well.

    God bless, T,
    – Trent

    • Sam the programguy

      Hi Trent, thanks for sharing this. It’s a lot better when it comes.from experience :)

      • BTW, I like the new name on your profile.

        • Sam the programguy

          Hey Thanks! Would it be better if I did “Sam (programguy)” or “Sam” or is what I have better? :)

          • Well, I think it really depends on what look you want. If you want to market your programing skills, then I would definitely keep Program Guy. If not, either Sam or what you already have would be equally fine. God bless man.

          • Sam the programguy

            Thanks Trent! I hadn’t thought of it like that before.

          • Amanda

            it sounds cool how it is :)

    • Sydnie

      That’s so cool I experienced a similar thing when my parents wanted to change churches too I really didn’t want to leave our church because there were not many people my age at our new church but at our new church I met my best friend and finally realized that I was not saved. It’s amazing when I look back at it all how God really worked in my life to bring me to him, he turned something around that I thought was horrible at the time and turned it into something really, really good.

      • Sam the programguy

        Amen

      • Yes! So true! Though it wasn’t because of going to my new church, I actually got saved at 12, when all this time, everyone thought I had received Jesus as a toddler. Have you ever thought to yourself, before you were saved, when someone presented the plan of salvation, “Well, I’m 100% sure I’m saved as long as I don’t think about it”? That’s what I kept telling myself before I finnaly decided to let go of my pride and accept Jesus as my Lord and Savior.

        God bless, Syndie
        – Trent

        • Sydnie

          The thing for me was I knew the Bible I knew what it said I just never really thought about it that much and until Resurrection Day this year I never really allowed the knowledge I had of God to really go to my heart. It was so cool when I got saved to see how the Holy Spirit would just bring Scripture I’d memorized even before I was saved right when I needed it.

    • T.

      Thanks so much for sharing, Trent! That’s really encouraging. About a month ago I told a friend that I wanted to do such and such but I wasn’t sure if it was just me wanting to do it or if it’s part of God’s plan for me, and my friend said, “then tell God that, just tell Him that you want to do whatever it is He wants you to do, and ask Him to make it clear which things are part of His plan and which things are not,” so I’ve been praying a lot about what I want to do and how it matches or doesn’t match with God’s will.

      • Sam the programguy

        Yes! That’s exactly what we should be doing!

  • When someone has found the answer to this let me know! It’s not that my parents want me to be a doctor (or something.) it’s just they don’t want me to be what i want me to be and… I’m kind of rambling now. Anywhatwho, let me know!!!

    • Sam the programguy

      Would you be able to explain why they don’t want you to be what you want to be?

      • Ok, because I don’t want to clutter up the “Comments” feed, I’m going to answer all the questions in on comment. (Lets just see how this works.)
        @Trent Blake Yes! I do that everyday! And if it just happened today, that would probably be my fault. I had a moment this morning when my fingers weren’t as “up” as my brain and i clicked everything wrong. So, yes, I probably un-followed you first which probably… I have no clue what it probably did.

        @T. I think that we might be siblings. I want to be… well… a lot of things that don’t pay very well. Like you said, it would be really cool to earn a ton of money and grow up and live in a castle (sorry. Once upon a time nerd.) but that’s not what i have been called to do.

        @Sam the programguy Does that answer your questions?

        • Sam the programguy

          There she goes using my name again lol :)
          Let’s see if I have this straight: You feel as though you have been called to a job that doesn’t pay well, and your parents don’t exactly like that idea because it um doesn’t pay very well. Is that the real reason they don’t like it? That’s not necessarily a bad reason. I think you get it; you would love a good job that pays well, but you feel called to a different kind of good job. Lots of jobs don’t pay very well, btw; and life isn’t about making money. It’s about glorifying God. So in a way, it doesn’t even matter if you’re a missionary in Romania, a cashier at a grocery store, the mayor, or even insert-high-paying-job-title-here. If you can do it and God is glorified by it, that’s great. But it also needs to be the place that God wants you, and it would be good if you liked it (but that is not necessarily the case).
          I might as well mention that God brings skills into our lives for a specific reason, but we might not fully understand it for a very long time.
          So, @rachelschaus:disqus I guess you did pretty much answer my question. Hmm, I don’t really know what else to say.

        • Kim

          Hey Rachel,

          If God is calling you to take up a job that
          doesn’t pay very well, what if you also took up a “tentmaking” job (like Paul in Acts 18:3) to earn your bread and butter? :)

    • Hey Rachel, I don’t know why, but somehow my profile un-followed you. I’m not sure why or how. But just letting you know it was accidental. This ever happened to you?

    • T.

      Do you know your parents reasons for not wanting you to do what you want to do? I know for me, my mom especially, really wants me to go to college and get a bachelors degree and have a decent paying job, while what I want to do (and believe God is calling me to do) doesn’t require a degree (just specific training), and it doesn’t pay a whole lot. I’m not opposed to making a decent salary, but if it’s at the expense of following God’s calling, then it’ll result in nothing but misery.

  • alana

    My mom has a lot of ideas of what she wants me to be, and sometimes I feel pressured to meet her standards. She’s been through more than I can imagine and she has so much experience. And although she has these plans, she knows what’s best for me, and that also involves knowing what I want. She also knows God is in control of our futures. That’s the best part of it all.

    • T.

      I totally understand about feeling pressure to meet a mom’s standards. I have to constantly remind myself that God’s standards are more important than my mom’s. I also appreciate your comment about your mom having been through a lot and having experience because sometimes I forget that my mom once had to pick a path for her life too.

  • Sam l

    I have experienced this almost to a T. It’s important to do 2 things, A) to respect your parents as much as possible, especially while you are still living with them and B) find a passion. I say find A passion, not find YOUR passion, because I don’t believe there is a special job out there for you and one day it will fall into your lap as you randomly discover your ‘passion.’ In my experience, passion develops over time as you cultivate it. You need to be willing to try your hand at different things and be willing to chop and change a bit.
    In my situation, as many others, my parents simply wanted me to go to university straight after school. This is because, I’ve since realised, they thought they knew my skill set better than me (and they certainly did!). However, in the 5 years since I’ve left school, my interests have changed so dramatically beyond those of my highschool days that if I had gone straight to uni, I would now be graduated and working in a job I hate, or more likely, unemployed since it was a liberal arts degree they wanted me to do.
    Understand that while it is of course important to respect your parents, there is another side to the coin. It is important to become independent and make your own money, and it’s important to learn to exist on your own. Going straight to college does 2 things, it forces dependence on parents and it gets you into a ton of debt. I feel as if, in the current economic climate, unless you are doing a certain STEM degree (engineering or medicine), it is irresponsible to induce so much debt, so early in your life when you have not yet decided what you really want to do.
    Practical advice? Well, it has worked for me – go find a job. Waiting tables, whatever, it doesn’t really matter. Practise earning, saving, providing for yourself. Outside of work, cultivate productive hobbies and even try to find an unpaid internship in a skill ( I am currently trying to do this). Once you have experienced the ‘real world’, go into a trade or then you may consider getting yourself into debt to get an expensive degree, after researching it thoroughly to make sure it will be a wise choice.
    It may be hard to do this in the face of pressure from so many parents who just want their kids to ‘go to college, get a job, blah blah blah.’ The world and economy has changed so much that this, previously wise mindset, is now irresponsible and not conducive to independence. An entrepreneurial mindset, a trade, or just working a dodgy job for a bit, teaches you far more. Give yourself time to grow and cultivate a career. And guess what? Your parents will note your independence, appreciate it and most often will turn around and respect your decision.

    • T.

      Thanks for sharing, Sam. It’s really helpful to hear from people who understand and have advice.

    • WARNING! LONG MESSAGE AHEAD!

      Hey Sam,
      While I see your point, I believe there is another side to the issue as well. When job searching, it is much easier to get a job when you have a degree (especially the more general ones like business and engineering.) Without a college degree, the best the average person can hope for is being a waiter or a counterperson at a fast food place, which pays close to minimum wage.
      Now, though there are some exceptions, today this is generally the case. My father started his own business and works as a contractor. It works well and he don’t have a degree. The only problem is, he’s getting older. As you age, the body wears out and cannot take so much physical labor.

      He cannot retire, because, even though he makes more then a waiter or a fast food staff member, he doesn’t make too much extra money. Definaly not enough to retire.

      The alternative is a desk job. Well, you will not get a good-paying desk job without a college degree. It just isn’t normally going to happen. So, in the end, life without a college degree is not so great.

      On the other hand, the debt you would accumulate from Student Loans would be extreme if you did go to collage. And the Bible does say, “The debtor is a slave of the loaner” (or something close). I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be the slave of a loan company. No way!

      So, what do you do?
      Well, this is what I think:

      It is important to both go to college and to not borrow money that you cannot repay. Instead of getting student loans, to pay for college, try this:

      1. Get as many scholarships as you possibly can. The more you get, the less expensive college is.

      3. Save for college. – As stupid and little-kid-ish as it sounds, it will be worth it. The more you save now, the less you have to come up with later.

      4. Get certified in highschool. – I am currently taking an online course to become a cerified Microsoft Office specialist. Having that, or something like it, on your resume cridentials makes potential employeers take that second look at your resume.

      5. Work thorough college. It is hard to keep your grades up and work through college at the same time. But, if you really want to do it, you can do this Hard Thing. The money you make can go towards college.

      6. Buy your food at the grocery store, not the campus. – Grocery store food is normally cheaper and much healthier then campus food.

      7. Live in an apartment, not a dorm room, if you can. – Normally, dorm rooms cost more then apartments that are close to campus. Plus, most apartments have more space.

      8. Borrow books from the library instead of buying them, when you can. – $30 a book can really add up.

      9. Find a campus Christian organization to be a part of. Believe it or not, this will help. It gives you a peace and excitement that can modivate you to do your best at your job and in the classroom. If God is with us, whom then shall we fear. And, we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us.

      All this put together should pay off a 4-year degree, if you Do Hard Things. Once it’s over, you not only have a degree for your resume, but you also have practical job experience and know the meaning of hard work.

      Have a great day, everyone,
      – Trent Blake

      • Sam the programguy

        Thanks for the warning, Bro. Totally worth reading.

        • Thanks, dude. I guess you know where I got that idea from. lol.

          • Sam the programguy

            Haha yeah, I knew I was the one to blame. Your comment didn’t seem very long once I started reading it. Maybe it’s because you write so well :)

      • Sydnie

        Wow that’s exactly what I think about when I don’t want to do my school that day or I want to do something else. It’d be great if you guys could pray for my little brother, he’s struggling with these things and wanting to use his mind for electronics on worthless things that won’t help him in the future.
        Thanks
        Sydnie

        • I know what you mean Sydnie. It’s hard when a family member knows they aren’t on the right track, and yet doesn’t care. They embrace low expectations, where they should be challenging themselves. It saddens me that one of my family members is like this as well.

          Father, God,
          I pray that you would get through to my family member and Sydine’s. Do whatever it takes to get them to wake up from the fantasy of immediate satisfaction and to come to your will. Whatever it takes, Father.
          I pray that you would help both Sydine and I to be patient, kind, humble, not bitter, and forgiving to our siblings, so as to point them in the right direction: You. God, thank you for gifting the world with your everlasting salvation through Jesus. God, you are amazing, and I trust you with my life and my sibling’s life. I pray this in the name of Jesus,
          Amen.

      • T.

        Definitely some very good points here, Trent!

      • Lauren

        I’ve been reading this for a couple months but I haven’t commented yet – so here goes. :)
        I know that College so often seems very unattainable – especially with the BIG price tag. (I mean, what teen has $200,000 lying around. I don’t) But there are inexpensive ways to do college. Below are two suggestions.

        1) Verity Institute – verityinstitute.org – is a 22 month accredited bachelor’s degree program. The program is based on credit-by-examination, basically study two weeks and take a CLEP test (explained below.) Verity does not offer all degrees that you would find at a normal 4 year college, but they offer most of the basics – for instance I am taking Bachelor’s in History and I have friends taking Communications, Music, English, and Computer Info/Tech. The program is very flexible with a campus option (on campus in Indianapolis) or distance learning from home (what I am doing now). If you have questions, email [email protected] and they will be happy to provide information.
        2) CLEP Tests – College Level Evaluation and Placement tests. These are 90 minutes, computer-based, multiple choice tests that cost 80 for the test + whatever proctor fee to the testing institution. (Where I take it, the fee is 15 dollars.) So for around 100 dollars, you can receive 3-6 credits. If you are currently in college – check out your school’s policy regarding CLEPs. Some colleges don’t accept them, or only accept certain ones. But check it out, cause it is worth it. For example, I currently have 57 college credits and have paid around 1300 dollars for those tests.
        So for all of you who are despairing, CHEAP COLLEGE IS AVAILABLE!!!! 😀
        In Christ,
        Lauren

        • Thanks for the advice, Lauren. It is very much appreciated!
          God bless,
          – Trent

        • Hey Lauren,

          I have been thinking about college more and more. I feel heavily that I should go into full time youth ministry. So I checked out the local colleges and to get a 4-year degree in Youth/Children’s Ministry while living at home is $88,800. But I still don’t have nearly enough for that. Do you have any ideas about that?
          God bless,
          – Trent

          • Lauren

            I hear you!!!!! My cousin is in his senior year at Lancaster Bible College getting a degree in Biblical Studies with a minor in Pastoral Ministry, and he’s paying close to $25,000 a year.

            If you feel like God is leading you to a specific college, certainly check out their requirements for transferring in with credits – either from CLEP, DSSTs or local community college classes.
            I’m not very knowledgeable about the “requirements” to be a youth pastor/leader, but have you considered taking a related but useful in other areas major – ie. business, education – will focusing on or taking Bible classes? I know that I am concerned for my cousin – as in a couple weeks plus a semester, he will need to find a full time job – with a Bible degree.
            Another consideration would be to take a bachelor’s somewhere for cheap (inexpensive!) and then going on to seminary. Is seminary cheaper? (I have NO idea!!! :D)
            And just another place to look – try the link below. I have no idea what this entails – I’m a history major, not Humanities-Bible- but check Verity (my school :) :) ) out.

            http://verityinstitute.org/academics/degreeprograms/humanities/
            I hope this rambling helps! Let me know if you have more questions. I can’t always promise a prompt answer, but I am more than willing to help!
            In Christ,
            Lauren

          • Sam S.

            I’m guessing that the $88,800 is before scholarships?
            I totally understand the cost thing. I want to get a degree as a youth pastor. I have a specific college in mind, but really, there’s a pretty high price there, and I have almost no idea how that would work. If God wants me there, He will provide enough for me to go there. If He wants me somewhere else, hey, why not? Since when was youth ministry about what we want??? If God calls you to do something, don’t just give up on it. Follow that leading until God tells you something else.
            I don’t know if that helps at all, but it’s what I’ve been thinking about.

          • Yes. Before scholarships.

          • Hi Trent,

            Being a college graduate myself and having two college aged kids in our home, here is what I’ve learned:

            The first two years of a four year degree are basically a repeat of high school. Any college credits you can earn during your junior and senior year are a huge benefit!

            We have PSEO (Post Secondary Education Option) where high school juniors and seniors can take college classes for free. Our oldest took 12 credits online one semester as a junior and then just 4 credits each semester as a senior. The first year she was homeschooled and the second, public school with an open hour for PSEO work. This saved her a lot of $$. Books are also included and were mailed to us. Currently she is working on a 4 year online degree in Biblical Studies through University Northwestern St Paul and the cost is very reasonable at $400/credit, and her financial aid package covers most of that. The downside is the social aspect of being off campus and the fight to stay focused with so much family activity around.

            Some classes are college level in high school, such as advanced foreign languages, and these come with a transcript from college after successful completion. Also, look for AP options. A good score on an AP exam can earn you up to 8 college credits in that subject area.

            Don’t dismiss Community Colleges either. They offer these basic classes for a fraction of the cost of a 4 year university. Most 4 year schools will transfer classes straight across, but it’s a good idea to look at your prospective 4 year institution and take the classes they want you to have vs. maybe ‘welding’ or ‘shop’ at the community college. The deeper thinking value is lost a little, but if it’s what you can afford, it’s better than nothing. (As a side note, there is NOTHING wrong with taking ‘welding’ or ‘shop’, both of which could come in handy on the mission field or as a family man, I’m so thankful Mr. Mickelson is well versed in both skills!!)

            There are a few good colleges/universities that have really amazing scholarships based on need. University of North Carolina, Charlotte is one and Hillsdale in Michigan is another. The latter does not accept any federal aid at all and finds scholarship funds privately.

            Lastly, I’d like to point out that God does, already, have a plan for your life and it may or may not include a 4 year degree. If it does, He will certainly make a way for you to get it. No amount of money is an obstacle to Him!!

          • Sam S.

            Thank you, Mrs. Mickelson. I found this helpful.

  • Genesis M.

    I believe that if you pray that God will cause you to do his will and calmly and respectfully talk to your parents about how you feel, things will turn out the way God wants them to. If what you are dreaming is what God is really calling you to do, nothing will stop it from taking place.

    • T.

      Good point.

      • Genesis M.

        Thanks!

  • David Barnes

    I haven’t really experinced this in terms of a goal in life, but there was an action I felt God wanted me to take that my parents strongly disagreed with. My advice would be to always listen to God and take His word above that of any person in your life. God is the only one that knows everything and constantly has your best interest in mind, so it is best to follow Him at all costs. I recently read in C.S. Lewis’s “The Four Loves” a section concerning Jesus’ statement that “If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.” (Luke 14:26). Lewis suggests that in that verse, the term “hate” does not mean the same disdain and animosity that we typically attribute to hate in today’s language. He says that, based on other uses of the word “hate” by God, the verse simply means to be prepared to disregard the cries and urgings of those around you if they conflict with the word that God has given you. So that would be my advice to you. If you are certain that God has given you a specific command (how you do that is a discussion in and of itself), then follow that command regardless of who tells you otherwise.

  • Sarah

    Definitely. And while I will choose to please God over pleasing any humans (including my parents), I think it’s also important to note that the Bible doesn’t say that honoring your parents ends when you turn 18.

    ~Sarah-Jane

  • Kate

    This happened to me last year. I graduated from high school in Germany (I’m American, so are my parents, but I grew up in Germany). I knew God called me to do something else, but He did it quite suddenly so my parents didn’t really have time to “adapt”. What it came down to was this: I felt as though God wanted me to go to Romania for a year. So that’s what I did! I spent the entire last year with a missionary organization in Romania, helping the Roma, an ostracized people group in Europe. My dad was less than impressed, said as a family member of this family I should go to University right away and how irresponsible it is not to. Thankfully, my mother was quite supportive. She is a Christian and my dad sort of is, but he couldn’t understand why I was doing it. I’m now doing my second year here and he’s grown accustomed to it by looking on the “bright side” and saying that at “least” I’m learning lots of valuable life lessons…

  • Benjamin Myer

    This question I believe could have many different sides and aspects to it. Our parents have been through at least twice as much life as we have. They want what’s best for us no matter what. That’s something we, as teenagers, struggle with. However once it’s time for us to move on and leave the nest it’s solely on us as far as where we go and what we do in life. Our parents may rather us go into a different profession or pursue a different major but that’s something that we have to make for ourselves. Yes, we should hear their advice and take what we can from it but it’s our lives that we are going to be living. We should pray about those kind of decisions and seek God’s will but he will find a way to use us wherever we end up and in whatever we are doing. That’s the awesome part of being God, you can use people in any situations. So, final thoughts are to pursue your relationship with Christ and to listen to people’s advice, listening doesn’t mean heeding. And most importantly, remember who you are, a child of God.

  • Cara Wilde

    I believe you should base the choices of your future on what you believe to be God’s will. Don’t base your descisions on what your parents want but on what God wants.

    However, I do believe God has placed parents in our lives for a reason. They are here to guide us in major descisions like these, and we should be willing to listen to what they have to say. They are older and so they have experienced the world and know more about it LONGER than we have ever lived.

    It really comes down to a balance. Don’t base your choices solely on what your parents want, do what you believe God may want, but be willing to respect that God can be using your parents to help you understand His will.

    It can really depend; not every situation is the same. Maybe your parents want to control you because they genuinely think of this path as the best thing for you…but you feel God may not be leading you there. Or, they want the best for you and what they say has merit, and you think God may be using them to tell you something. Or it can be mixed. It can vary.

    • I agree with Cara. In my experience, my dad had wanted me to take up Pharmacy as a college degree to help grow his business of drug distribution.

      So I went through high school not really having a say in my future/college degree. My dad wanted me to go to a college nearby to take up Pharmacy mainly because we couldn’t afford it if I studied in Manila (where the top universities in my country are). We had heated conversations about college, because part of me wanted to study in one of the top universities of the Philippines and I wanted to take a course that was closer to my heart.

      So, with my mind set to staying close to home to study, I took the entrance exams of the top universites of the country solely for experience. Praise God, I passed all that I took!

      But all the while I was praying to God to guide me and to bring me where He wanted me, not where my dad wanted me.

      So I agree with Trent in that you have to really talk to God about it. Like him, I prayed that I wanted His will, and not mine.

      The day after my senior graduation, the principal of my high school called for a meeting with me and my parents and told me that a businessman (who was a not-so-close family friend), who was in our graduation, wanted to sponsor my schooling in any university and in whichever degree I chose. What a surprise that was!

      To cut the story short, now I am studying in the top university in the Philippines planning to shift to a degree closer to my heart than my dad originally planned for me. I’m still going through some obstacles in my shifting and uncertainty with where I should really go, but I just have to keep trusting Him.

      So my answer to the original question is: dependence on God (especially prayer). :)

  • sharkfin49

    Hardships can bring us together. If us and our parents disagree, it could be God giving us a chance to become closer together spiritually. All things are not bad. God will work it out.

  • Merri Mickelson

    As a parent, I recognize that ‘my’ children belong to God first. Our first pregnancy ended in miscarriage in 1991 and that’s when God wrote on my heart, “I am in charge of life and death.” Later, we had three children in three years. Overwhelmed, I cried out to Him, and He said, “I am making people, not YOUR babies, you do your part and leave the rest to me.” (in other words, I was putting too much responsibility on my own shoulders) Now, we have 10 lovely offspring and I do not begin to imagine that I know what’s best for them, but I can trust that my Lord does. My husband and I do our best to shepherd and guide them, but ultimately, they belong to Him and He knows the best path for them, even if that means traveling over rocky cliffs on the way there.

    The dreams and talents they have are most likely gifts from God and He will lead them in a way that uses those most effectively. I do not know the plans He has for me, much less my kids, so it is best for me to trust Him for their future.

    In light of this, I make suggestions for them, but allow plenty of room for the Holy Spirit to lead as well. This is especially important if they have not accepted Christ. He will lead them to Him, for His glory, His way in His time. The best I can do is love, listen, pray and set an example.

    I know our view is unconventional, and unpopular, but after much prayer, it’s where we are.

    To be honest, it’s a pretty natural view for us as my husband and I both come from un-churched homes and ended up making lots of decisions that our parents don’t agree with. They tolerate us, but what is more important to us than their approval is obedience to our Creator. We quite possibly will lose our earthly inheritance over it. I hope that one day our families see the greater value in the life we have, seeking Jesus above material possessions or social status, but even if they don’t, I must do what I believe He is calling me to, this is what He will hold me accountable for later.

    I’m not sure how this plays into this discussion, but these are my thoughts after I read the post yesterday. It’s just another angle to view the situation.

    • Thank you so much for sharing, Mrs. Mickelson. I was really hoping that parents would chime in on this question. Your perspective and experience is refreshing and helpful.

  • Casey C

    Well, you go along with it because the church tells you that obeying your parents is the most important rule ever (or else you’ll have a millstone tied around your neck and sink to the bottom of the ocean). Then you end up like me, at 21, and your life is over because all you’ve ever done is married the guy your parents love but you don’t get along with and got a college degree your parents picked out as appropriate because they wouldn’t pay for you to get the one you wanted and you couldn’t pay your own way because you’re too poor.
    Don’t give it now. It doesn’t get any easier to break that news later.
    Be yourself, fully. That is most important.
    Do everything in love, and love your parents. I love mine. But don’t do it to sacrifice your own well being and happiness.

  • Abby

    I think you should spend some time in prayer to see if this is what God wants you to do, or just what you want you to do.
    If this is what God wants you to do, he will change you parents or your circumstances. It may take time, but he can, and will.

    Also, he may want to change you.
    A few years ago, my parents moved our family halfway across the globe. I didn’t want to go, but I had to. The first year we were there, I wanted to be back in the U.S. more than anything and every day became the same painful ritual. I prayed, and prayed, but nothing changed. Yes, I could be happy, but the pain was always there, like long, heavy chains dragging behind me.

    A couple of months ago, it suddenly felt like something was missing. It almost felt good, but I couldn’t figure out what was missing. One day, I realized what was gone. It was the pain. I was free, the blindfold was removed. I could really see. I saw my friends (on both sides of the word) as more precious than ever, and I saw that I shouldn’t stay away from people to avoid pain, or I’d just create more. I realized that moving was one of the best things that had ever happened to me. I could thank my parents rather than blame them.
    If you’d told me a year ago that I’d be sincerely typing this, I’d have told you to go check your temperature and drink a cup of coffee. But now, I can promise you that God will either change you, or change your circumstances, even if it doesn’t happen now.

    • Abby

      Sorry, redid it because I thought the first one had been deleted….. Oops… :)

  • Abby

    I think you should spend some time in prayer to see if this is what God wants you to do, or just what you want you to do.

    If this is what God wants you to do, he will change you parents or your circumstances. It may take time, but he can, and will.

    Also, he may want to change you.

    A few years ago, my parents moved our family halfway across the globe. I didn’t want to go, but I had to. The first year we were there, I wanted to be back in the U.S. more than anything and every day became the same painful ritual. I prayed, and prayed, but nothing changed. Yes, I could be happy, but the pain was always there, like long, heavy chains dragging behind me.

    A couple of months ago, it suddenly felt like something was missing. It almost felt good, but I couldn’t figure out what was missing. One day, I realized what was gone. It was the pain. I was free, the blindfold was removed. I could really see. I saw my friends (on both sides of the word) as more precious than ever, and I saw that I shouldn’t stay away from people to avoid pain, or I’d just create more. I realized that moving was one of the best things that had ever happened to me. I could thank my parents rather than blame them.

    If you’d told me a year ago that I’d be sincerely typing this, I’d have told you to go check your temperature and drink a cup of coffee. But now, I can promise you that God will either change you, or change your circumstances, even if it doesn’t happen now.

  • Kim

    There are so many great answers already here…. I don’t have much to add! :) Just wanna ask, T, have you discussed your dream for your life with your parents and explained to them why you think that’s the calling God has given you?

    • T.

      I have not. That would probably be a really good thing to do though. Thanks, Kim.

      • Sam the programguy

        I highly recommend it, even though it may be hard. Rebelutionaries do hard things, right?

        • Sam, there are times when I feel like that too.

          Like there are a million things that i do wrong and that nothing can change that. Like my life is wrong. And sometimes when I feel like a hypocrite- mainly because i can be.

          But sometimes I think that it’s something that the enemy is trying to bring us down with. He wants to steal, kill and destroy our dreams and ideas, and making us fell like we are a hypocrite-works well.

          So. as a word of advice, Yes- it’s Good to realize that you do things wrong but don’t *name* your self that. The Son has come to give us life and life more abundantly then we could think or imagine.

          • Sam the programguy

            That’s why we call ourselves “sinners saved by grace!”

          • Amen brother!

      • Kim

        You’re welcome! Sometimes, what we expect our parents to think of our ideas is different from what they’ll actually think (speaking from my own experience ;)). If you don’t mind, let us know how it goes when you talk to your parents!

        • T.

          I’m not sure when it’ll be, but I’ll try to remember to let you know!

        • T.

          Hey Kim,
          Sorry it took me so long to post this (I’ve been a bit busy with schoolwork). I didn’t exactly sit down and discuss everything with my parents, but last Friday my mom and I were baking bread for a friends fundraising event and she brought up what she wants me to do. She explained yet again why she doesn’t want me to do what I want to do (it doesn’t pay very well, potentially limited job opportunities, etc…) but she also acknowledged that I can hear God’s voice too. She once again told me why she wants me to do this other thing, but she’s a lot more open than she has been. She told me that she’s okay with me not rushing straight into a bachelor’s degree and I can take some time to try a few different things (I’m pretty sure I’m going to do a DTS with YWAM starting in July) and that will definitely help me know what direction to head.

          • Kim

            Hey T,
            No worries — I’ve been busy with schoolwork too!

            That sounds good. Is there a way you can do what you want to do as a hobby or side business, while doing what your mom wants you to do as a “tentmaking” job (like Paul in Acts 18:3)?

            Also, is it okay if you tell us what you think God is calling you to do? I totally understand if you’d rather not tell. I was just thinking that we might be able to give you a few tips on career planning and the like, if you don’t mind sharing with us the specific career you’re considering. But no pressure :)

            By the way, just in case you might be interested in trying this, here’s a link to Summit Ministries’ Student Worldview Conferences: http://www.summit.org/conferences/student/
            Several people I know figured out God’s calling for their lives at Summit’s Student Conferences.

            God bless, T!

          • T.

            Well, I’ve wanted to be a paramedic for the last 5 years. I originally was completely set on that’s what I want to do and “if God didn’t want me to do it, He wouldn’t have given me the desire to do it” (flawed thinking, I know), but perhaps I’ll wind up doing that as a volunteer and having a different job to support myself. I’m starting to let go of the idea that that’s the only thing I’d be happy doing and be more open to God guiding me in a different direction. If I do do that full time, I’ll be happy, but if I don’t, I’m okay with that too.

            Thanks for the link!

  • cara d

    I totally get it. I’ve had clashes with my parents over the years. Most of the time, found that I had to examine my own motives. As you get older, you learn that although your parents don’t know everything, they know a whole lot more than you think. Often, I’ve been wrong but I’m blessed with Christian parents so we’ve worked it through between us. That’s something definitely worth recommending. Talk it through. If you can’t do that with your parents, there may be something else going on that needs sorted. There’s a balance. Our parents know us well so we should listen to their advice. There may be a reason why you disagree. There may not be. We need to be careful not to choose certain paths purely because our parents don’t agree but you also have the problem of some parents trying to live their lives out through their children, trying to give their children the life they always wanted even though it’s not what the child wants. It’s different for everyone I guess. But I would say talk to them, definitely. Explain how you feel and why and ask them why they want a certain path for you. You may be surprised. And in the end, although we should honour our parents as far as possible, they are human and sometimes they make mistakes.
    Bear with them. Talk with them. Pray with them. I know my parents struggle with my choice of work but we’re working it through and they’ve provided very valuable guidance and insight for me.

  • Guest

    My dream is to become an animator. i don’t want children nor a husband. but my just parents do understand. they want me to wear makeup, dresses and marry a nice man. but that’s not me at all. it seems ridiculous for me to become a stereotypical housewife (there’s nothing wrong wife being a housewife) and not follow my dreams.

  • Joy Swen

    I know this DQ was from ages ago but I just discovered it today. :)
    My dream is to be a Navy Hospital Corpsman, which is an enlisted job. Here’s the problem: every one of my siblings have gone to collage and it’s assumed that I’ll go to. Here’s the thing, I’m willing to go through collage and go into the Navy as a officer if it keeps my relationship with my parents strong. Over the last several months I’ve come to realize how important family is. I personally don’t think it’s worth wrecking my relationship with my parents, epically my mom, just to fulfill my dream.
    It’s just my crazy thoughts but I hope it helps.

  • Daniel Blom

    The Navigators have some helpful insights into this.
    http://www.navmissions.org/Go/Short-Term/Short-Term-Missions-FAQ

  • nidhi singh

    I want to do hotel management its my passion n dis passion is growing day by day bt my brother wants me to do B.COM bt im nt at all interested in it n im not even able to do it.right now im doing B.COM bcoz my bro told me to do it n i didn’t want him to hurt dat’s y i opted for it bt now its becoming very difficult for me to do it so plzz help me how i tell him dat i don’t want to do B.COM i want to do hotel management

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