Our kids are growing up before our eyes. I knew they did that, but I just wasn't expecting it to happen so fast. While I know that they'll leave one day, I want to launch adults and not confused teens that will wander aimlessly for a decade. I know that I don't have that much power over their lives, but God does. That is why I've been striving to connect my children's passions with a view of the mission that God might have designed them to do.
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Finding purpose is like a treasure hunt. It can feel really hopeless if we seek it without a map or a guide. David speaks of God's Word as a lamp that lights up his path (Psalm 119:105). When we look to the Bible for instruction, you can be sure to find purpose there. The trick is in seeking a relationship with Jesus, and not merely using the Bible as a tool to become successful in the world's eyes. The Power of Purpose: Breaking Through to Intentional Living guides readers to the Word to find the treasure they're seeking: a purposeful life.
The Power of Purpose by Michael Catt
In The Power of Purpose, pastor Michael Catt shepherds his readers through the book of Philippians and Paul's powerful message of purposeful living. He encourages readers to not give up on the hope of living a meaningful life.
While weaving in personal stories of his own journey to finding purpose, Michael Catt inspires readers to embark on their own journey with encouragements to:
- Define purpose
- Be purposeful in prayer
- Live with eternity in mind
- View death as gain
- Live a consistent Christian life
- Serve with a purpose
- Rely on Christ alone
- Build a relationship with Christ
- Stand for the truth
- Dwell on the truth
- Rest in the sufficiency of Christ
My husband and I have been reading this together in the evenings and it's sparked some wonderful discussions. I appreciate the fact that there are not a lot of specific lists of how to apply these concepts in our daily life because it leaves the door open for our circumstances, personalities, and abilities to connect with the truth of living intentionally. It's going to look different for all of us, and Pastor Catt trusts that God's Word can bring to light the specific ways we need to be applying the truths brought to light in this book.
I'm excited to share these concepts with my kids as they grow into adults. Those teenage years can be really powerful in laying the foundations for purposeful living.
The Importance of Purpose in Teens
We are living in a society where the chief end of man is pleasure, and our teens are preached this doctrine from just about every person in their lives. Too many teens are leaving home and floundering around in their college years struggling to find a major to settle on, only to discover that they do not want to do that type of work for the rest of their lives.
The teenage years are an excellent time to discover gifting and purpose. I love this quote from Pastor Catt's book:
Areas to Encourage Purposeful Living in Your Children
1. Purposeful Work
Even if they don't need the money, working provides so many great opportunities for learning interpersonal skills, responsibility, and strengths. When you give your teens a job to do, you give them the opportunity to struggle with all of the things that adults struggle with in a job without the pressure of providing for a family weighing on their heads.
If they are compensated for their work, provide counsel and encouragement for purposeful spending rather than just spending for pleasure. It's a tough line to walk, but with the right kinds of questions you can share your opinion and wisdom without being overbearing. They also need to learn that if they choose to spend on pleasure that some of the basics won't be provided for them such as car insurance or phone service.
2. Purposeful Service
Finding ways to serve is another great area of encouragement for purposeful living. My nephew is an incredible cellist who recently was given the opportunity to serve as a leader of a workshop for some younger students. This opportunity to serve other musicians opened his eyes to a new avenue of joy and purpose for his future. He didn't realize that teaching could be so rewarding. What God does with that experience will be fun to watch!
3. Purposeful Relationships
Isolation and disconnection are hallmarks of the impact of social media on our teens' relationships. They have more access to relationships and connections than ever before, yet they feel more alone. Relationships take time and effort. They don't just happen. Helping your teens be intentional in building relationships with others is a great way to encourage purpose in their lives.
The best relationship to cultivate however is their relationship with Christ. Encourage them to spend time getting to know Jesus by reading through the Gospels and New Testament. Time in God's Word will bless them beyond measure and fill their lives with meaning.
Check out Michael Catt's The Power of Purpose and encourage your teens to live purposeful lives.
Betsy Strauss is an unexpected homeschooler, mother of three, who is in a relationship with a sweet man for life. She loves reading books, drinking coffee, and learning anything with her kids.