Making big decisions can be frightening for teenagers. They get overwhelmed thinking about buying a car, deciding on a college, choosing a career, and even eventually getting married. We want to help them in these big decisions, but we don’t always know how.
I’ve got good news for you. John Ortberg is our guest, and he has some great advice for parents who are trying to help their teenagers decide their next steps.
His ideas resonate with me. He says that God is much more concerned with the people our children become than the circumstances they inhabit. In other words, God’s primary goal for all of us is character formation, and decision-making is an indispensable part of that.
One of the things I’ve done since my early 20s is to wake up every day and say, “Lord, whatever I do today, help me to represent you well – in my attitude, in my conduct, in my treatment of others.” I don’t think God always gives us a specific call vocationally. He just says, “Each day when you wake up, be ready to follow me.”
That’s John’s story. He believes he is called of God and he has pastored for years at Menlo Presbyterian in the San Francisco Bay area, but he’s never felt a specific call to the ministry. In fact, when he was younger, he didn’t know what he was supposed to do with his life, either. He’d pray for hours, crying with frustration, “God, just tell me what to do with my life. I don’t care what it is. I will do it.”
God never did.
But over time, John realized that God was much more concerned with the person he became than with the specific circumstances he inhabited.
If you have teenagers or 20-somethings who are asking, “Where does God want me? What does God want me to do?” we’ll help you teach them to become good decision makers.