When I was in the 4th grade in public school, my teacher gave me and my class a picture of a football and goal posts. I was to color it and write on the football “goals for my life.” My mom had the foresight to save this assignment for me and attach my fourth grade picture. What is so amazing is that I have indeed spent my whole life seeking to achieve these goals! Here is what I wrote [without corrections]: 

Goals for My Life:

  1. teach as much people about God.
  2. learn as much as I can about talking in front of other people.
  3. Rais a good family. 
  4. trie to learn as much scripture as I can.

Those who know me can testify that these goals have been the driving factors of my life.*

My point here is not to tell you about my goals, but to inspire you to help your children develop a sense of their own life goals. As you can see, starting this process early on can bear good fruit. Kathy Koch of Celebrate Kids (one of our 2018 Thrive! Homeschool Conference speakers) suggests that the best way for parents to understand their children and help them grow is by LISTENING to them. She is always encouraging parents to “listen longer.” A great way to listen is by asking questions. Here are some questions that Kathy suggests that I think will help your children discover what they were made for:

1. What problems do you want to solve?


2. What people groups do you want to serve?


3. What breaks your heart?


4. What gives you joy?


Set some time aside this week to have a conversation like this with your children. Or have them write their thoughts and then have a discussion about their answers. What a privilege we have to guide our children toward God’s purpose for their lives based on how he has uniquely created and gifted them!

Matthew McDill
NCHE Executive Director


*  I love teaching; I earned a B.S. in communication and an M.Div., Th.M., and Ph.D. in biblical studies with a focus on preaching; I am working hard to raise a “good” family; and  I have developed a scripture memory system that I use every day.