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8 Ways to Help Your Kids Discover God’s Calling for Their Lives

 8 Ways to Help Your Kids Discover God’s Calling for Their Lives

Jeremiah 29:11, one of the most popular Scripture verses, says, "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." God has known our kids since the beginning of time. He numbered the hairs on their heads and ordered each step of their lives, knowing when they would be born and when they would take their last breaths.

As parents, it is easy to take a step back in our guidance when helping our children choose a career. When kids enter adulthood, we may believe our time to help them is over. But when it comes to their career, it may just be beginning. Kids need their parents more than ever. With technological advances posing immediate distractions and the pull to view a job as simply a way to pay bills, kids need to understand work is a good thing and an integral part of their emotional, social, and mental development as they transition into responsible, godly adults.

But how do we, as parents, guide them toward the right career choice without making them feel like we are choosing the career for them? How do we help them find the path that matches their personalities without four children feeling the weight of our expectations?

Eight ways to help them figure out their career path:

1. Pray with Them

This may sound simplistic, but we often don't pray with our children regarding their careers. We pray with them for their spouses, school situations such as tests and grades, and spiritual matters like their salvation, but we leave their occupations to a random choice. God has uniquely wired your child with special gifts and abilities that only they can do. This is best reflected in their choice of occupation. Encourage them by pointing out their strengths. The more they hear this, the more they will gravitate towards a career that allows them to use those strengths.

2. Dream with Them

Little boy playing doctor with his mom

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Dialogue with them about what they want to be when they grow up from a young age. This will help open up the conversation to a deeper level from an early age. Your kids will learn what deeper conversations they can have with their parents. Instead of filling the relationship with superficial conversation, kids will want to open up to you with their feelings, hopes, and dreams from their youth. This will help both of you navigate the troubled waters of teenage jobs and careers later.

3. Affirm Them

Let your kids know you love them no matter what occupation they choose. Sometimes kids pick careers because they think they will earn their parent's approval with it. Don't build your relationship on mere behavior. The most important thing is that your child is following God's will when they choose their career.

4. Differentiate Between Career and Calling

A career is what you do for a living. Calling is what gets you out of bed in the morning. Jesus called each of his disciples to follow him. The disciples already had careers. His disciples were already well educated on running a successful fishing business and other occupations like tax collector, doctor, etc. Yet, God called them to a new way of life. It was their choice whether or not they would accept it. They did and paid a heavy price to be that disciple. It's hard enough being a Christian in this day and age, let alone feeling pressured to find the career that's right for them. They need parents to help guide them in the career path who knows them well.

5. Don't Pressure Them

For pastors and others in ministry, it is not only difficult to have kids try to emulate the example of Christ, but they feel the undue pressure of being in the public eye. My kids unintentionally can feel the weight of being a kid in ministry. It is easy for them to believe the lie that they need to follow in their parent's footsteps and enter the ministry. If you are in ministry, don't put any pressure on them to be any sort of example to the congregation. They were born into that role; they did not ask for it. Your kids are under no obligation to be anything but who God has called them to be.

6. Explore God's Will

Father dancing with daughter

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Psalm 3:23-24 says, "The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives. Though they stumble, they will never fall, for the Lord holds them by the hand." God's will is directional, not final. Just because God is directing them in one direction now, doesn't mean it will always be that way. Christians can follow many career paths and still follow God's will. God called the apostle Paul to many destinations as he allowed God to direct his life. When a child's life is yielded to the Lord, he can lead them in many different directions.

7. Instill Godly Values

Years ago, people got hired by a particular company and stayed loyal to them. It was common for people to stay at one job for thirty years, then retire there. But loyalty to companies is a rare commodity these days. With the economy's instability, people walk into their job on Monday morning, only to find they have been let go to make room for an employee they are paying at half the salary. As Christians, this can be hard to navigate. Yet, godly principles never go out of style regardless of a company's ever-changing economic outlook. Help your child enter their jobs and work with integrity and honesty, and not be afraid to stand up for wrongdoing. Even if the job is just a stepping stone to a future career choice, kids need to learn to "work at everything as if working or the Lord, not for men" (Colossians 3:23).

8. Love Them Unconditionally

Lastly, no matter what choice your child makes when it comes to their career, make sure they know you are proud of them no matter what. God loves us unconditionally, despite the mistakes we make in life; we should do the same for our kids. Their strict obedience to God's calling does not reflect on your parenting skills. You will be disappointed if your identity is wrapped in how your kids turn out. But an identity rooted in being His child will help you let go of the expectations you may have for them and love them for God has loved them to be.

Releasing your kids into God's hands regarding their careers can be difficult, especially when they have made mistakes in the past. But having faith that you have done your best in parenting your kids, trusting they will make the right decisions (and loving them even if they don't) will bode well for your relationship with them as adults. You will also trust you can help them make good choices when discovering their future career path.

Michelle Lazurek Book Cover Who God Wants Me to BeMichelle's new children's book, Who God Wants Me to Be, will be released on September 20, 2022. You can find it on Walmart.com or at Waterbrook Multnomah

An artist, a teacher, a doctor, a stay-at-home mom—there are so many things a girl might want to be when she grows up. And even if she changes her mind as she cultivates new passions and skills, that’s okay! The important thing to remember is that she will discover the talents and desires given to her by God as she grows and learns. Whether she becomes a protector, healer, builder, or creator, she can use her gifts to share God’s love with others! Join Haley, Isabela, Lexi, and Ashley as they explore different careers and encourage all girls to trust God and who he created them to be!

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Writer Michelle LazurekMichelle S. Lazurek is a multi-genre award-winning author, speaker, pastor's wife, and mother. She is a literary agent for Wordwise Media Services and a certified writing coach. Her new children’s book Who God Wants Me to Be encourages girls to discover God’s plan for their careers. When not working, she enjoys sipping a Starbucks latte, collecting 80s memorabilia, and spending time with her family and her crazy dog. For more info, please visit her website www.michellelazurek.com.