Teaching Children to Recognize God’s Dreams

Teaching Children to Recognize God's Dreams - Parenting Like HannahOn Sunday, the adult Bible class I attended had more fun, excitement and pure joy happening in one place than I had seen in awhile. Our teacher was discussing the idea of dreaming big dreams for God and with God. He divided us into groups and handed each group a sheet of paper with a ministry from our Church written on it. We had several minutes to dream big dreams for that ministry. The only stipulation was that we could not censor the dreams as to whether or not they were “viable”.

We haven’t had a chance yet to see everyone’s dreams, but it seemed like every group was excited about their list. It was refreshing to dream big dreams without censorship.

Life teaches us not to dream big dreams. And the idea of God planting dreams on your heart is just foolish in the eyes of the world. Even Christians have been known to squash each others dreams for and with God as impractical or too expensive.

Our children have it even worse. Should they dare to dream a big dream with God, they are usually told to wait. They are too young or too inexperienced to make any big dream come true. What people forget is that no dream is too big for God if it is His dream! God helped young David to defeat the experienced giant warrior Goliath. I don’t think dreams can get much bigger than that.

I believe God puts His big dreams on the hearts of many young people. The Bible is full of stories of the children and teens God used to accomplish His purposes. Maybe, it is because they haven’t learned to filter God out when He tries to place dreams on their hearts. Perhaps, it is because they are willing to take that first step of faith and let God do with it what He wills.

A few years ago, my daughter wanted to collect Spanish and bi-lingual books for the orphanage in Mexico. Her first goal was reachable, but she decided to do everything she could so she could meet that goal. She convinced local bookstores to let her set up displays and man them. Various groups let her put collection boxes in their meeting places. She ended up collecting more than 600 books, which was way above the original goal she had set for herself.

Was her dream from God or just a godly dream? I don’t know for sure, but I do know either way, God blessed her faith and the children in the orphanage had the beginnings of the library you see in this picture.

The next time your child comes to you with a godly dream, don’t squash it. Help him find a way to take the first step towards making the dream a reality. Better yet, sit down with your children and dream big dreams for God together. If they could do anything that was godly, what would it be? You may be surprised to learn the dreams God has already placed on their hearts, but they haven’t shared with you.

Finally, encourage your children to step out on faith towards their dreams. Help them understand that just like David had to wait many years before he was actually King, they may have to wait many years before God completes their dream. Teach them to be patient and follow God’s timing. On the other hand, God may mean for them to complete those dreams even at their young age. The only way to know for sure is to take that first step.

What godly dreams do you and your children have? How can you encourage them to take that first step? I would love to hear your thoughts in a comment below.

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Thereasa Winnett

Thereasa Winnett is the founder of Teach One Reach One and blogger at Parenting Like Hannah. She holds a BA in education from the College of William and Mary. She has served in all areas of ministry to children and teens for more than thirty years and regularly leads workshops for ministries and churches. She has conducted numerous workshops, including sessions at Points of Light’s National Conference on Volunteering and Service, the National Urban Ministry Conference, Pepperdine Bible Lectures, and Lipscomb’s Summer Celebration. Thereasa lives in Atlanta, GA with her husband Greg, where she enjoys reading, knitting, traveling and cooking.

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