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At this juncture we have reached a crossroads. Up until now, this blog series has focused on advising and directing parents.
In keeping with the advice given to the parents of pubescent children, we are going to shift the focus of our audience from the parents to the students who are completing their secondary level education at home.
However, even though the future belongs to the student, I do not want to exclude parents from the conversation. Therefore, I will be making suggestions that may at times be directed at parents or students or both.
I strongly urge parents to make this blog series a required part of your student’s secondary learning, especially as they approach and transition to the post-secondary level.
Now, let’s begin by discussing:
The Three Most Important Decisions
Life provides us with many opportunities for making decisions. In fact, it is estimated that we make as many as 35,000 decisions every day, whether we are conscious of them or not!
No doubt, there are some decisions that are much more important than others, especially those affecting your long term best interests. In that respect, I believe that everybody will make three critical decisions in life.
The first and most critical decision involves God’s place in your life. Whether you decide for or against God, or to accept or reject what Jesus has provided you, is of critical importance as it defines eternity.
A decision about eternity not only establishes the outcome of your post-life journey, but affects your future, which is included within the eternal.
Consider that how you perceive God becomes the very foundation upon which you build your worldview and that this is the place from which you will draw all your presumptions in decision making.
Furthermore, the degree to which you commit to serve and obey the Lord will very much influence the direction you choose to walk in life. Indeed, the amount of freedom you will have will correlate with the extent to which you walk in faith. You can study this in the Gospel of John, Chapter 8.
The second most important decision involves love and marriage! This decision, properly made and maintained, will last a lifetime.
Although not as crucial as the decision to follow or not to follow God’s directives regarding eternity, a lifetime is a long time, so this decision is of critical importance to your journey here on planet earth, and it should not be taken lightly.
Getting attached with the wrong person will lead to either a long miserable life or a broken one. Neither is desirable.
Although this decision is the second most important one you will make in your life, the third most important decision will likely be made before the second most important decision.
The third biggest decision that you will have to make is regarding your career or what you will do in life. Unlike the eternal consequences of the “what place will God have in your life” decision, or the lifelong “who will be your partner” decision, this one will affect your day to day life for forty years or so.
Unlike the first two decisions, this one is more of a process than an event. Although there may be some trial and error in the beginning, most people eventually find their place in this world.
All these decisions are individual decisions. Nobody can make them for you.
Parents cannot make these decisions for their children. They most certainly should be advising, but parents will not be the ones having to live directly with the outcomes of any of these decisions.
However, you need to clearly understand that all decisions made by any person will affect others, especially those closest to you.
Generally speaking, nobody is blessed with the ability to make the right decision every time. No doubt, there will be changes of mind as you go through all the options for faith, family and freedom.
If your desire is to get things right the first time, start with the most important decision first, namely, God’s place in your life. If that decision is correct, you have a better chance of making the right decision respecting marriage.
Regarding marriage, there will be a few, maybe many potential candidates, but only one needs to win! There is no need to get in a hurry, but at the same time, if you are waiting for the perfect person to show up, you may be waiting for a long time!
I am personally not convinced that one has to actively seek a lifelong partner. My experience is, I must admit, somewhat limited, but I believe that this ideal, not perfect, individual sort of “falls” into one’s life as one walks through it. Maybe trusting God to provide this person is the best approach. What do you think?
Once a potential candidate comes into your life, remember that even though marriage is a personal and intimate relationship between you and your partner, it includes everyone involved in your lives. Some of your “seasonal acquaintances” will drop out, but most will want to continue to be part of your life.
Involving those who love you the most, starting with your parents and siblings, cannot be overemphasized. As a rule of thumb, if your potential candidate fits right in with the rest of the family, you at least have someone who will not be separating you from your loved ones.
As mentioned, career decisions are usually made before the marriage decision. On this front, it is okay to experiment. Part time work or volunteering is a good way to get the experience and to discover what you like or don’t like doing.
There are two things at play in the beginning of your career search. First there is finding a job, getting experience and cash to move forward in life. Few start and end in the same place.
The other issue involves what you will be doing for the rest of your life. Few start here, but most everyone ends here.
This is where the home educated have a real advantage over the schooled in that they are usually more comfortable with who they are, more aware of their strengths and limitations, more mature and therefore more able to find a good fit, earlier.
Three big decisions. The first is by inspiration. The second is by enlightenment. The third is by discovery. All are life changing and therefore critical.
Parents should be involved. Family and friends should be involved. But you will have to ultimately make them.
Oh! By the way, if all these questions are about your future, your foundations, direction and purpose in life, I highly recommend you consult the One who truly knows something about that!
Make the most critical decision to serve the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength. Seek His Kingdom and His righteousness. If you keep the other decisions in prayer, you will find that they will eventually be added unto you.