Help your child understand their life purpose

Last week, the Believe Me movie was released in theaters. The premise of the movie is that the main character needs to find means to pay for his final year in college and does so by creating a fake Christian ministry and steals money through it. Along the way, the leaders of this fake ministry partner up with a Christian Youth Organization. The movie pokes at many of the Christian stereotypes.

While this movie has been labeled as unfair by some Christians, the directors (who are Christians) claim that they really are wanting to get down to the question of “why”. Why do Christians believe these things? Which beliefs are sincere, which are just part of being a “good Christian”?

While the themes in this movie are important considerations to make before watching, they bring up important conversations. This week, Barna Group released new statistics about teens who participate in church. According to the study:

  • Nearly three out of ten teens had an adult mentor at the church.
  • Teens who participate in church are nearly four times more likely to understand their purpose in life.
  • Teens who have remained active in their church attendance are three times as likely to say that they learned to view their gifts and passions as part of God’s calling.
  • Teens who remain active in their church attendance are much more likely to believe the Bible contains wisdom for living a meaningful life (65% versus 17%).

Often, culture picks and pulls at Christian culture. While the media may often insinuate that church and faith have a negative impact on teens, the current studies are showing that this is not the case. Actively participating in church are very positive steps in the life of a teen.

While Believe Me takes some liberties in conveying some of the stereotypes within the church- in the end, the heart behind it is to leave viewers considering what really is important in Christianity and in faith. It is important to note that Christian culture is different from Christian values and benefits. Challenging teens to take ownership of their faith rather than simply fitting in with Christian culture can be a great step for teens making strong foundations in life.

What Do I Value?

soup girl Medium 257x300 What Do I Value?A group of university alumni, highly established in their careers, got together to visit an old professor. Conversation soon turned into complaints about stress in work and life. Offering his guests something to drink, the professor went to the kitchen and returned with a large pot of coffee and an assortment of cups — porcelain, plastic, glass, crystal, some plain looking, some expensive, some exquisite — telling them to help themselves to the coffee.

When all the students had a cup of coffee in hand, the professor said: “If you noticed, all the nice looking expensive cups were taken up, leaving behind the plain and cheap ones. While it is normal for you to want only the best for yourselves, that is the source of your problems and stress. Be assured that the cup itself, adds no quality to the coffee in most cases, just more expense and in some cases, it even hides what we drink.  What all of you really wanted was coffee, not the cup, but you consciously went for the best cups … and then began eyeing each other’s cups.

Now consider this: Family life is the coffee, and the jobs, money and position in society are the cups. They are just tools to hold and contain life, and the type of cup we have does not define, nor change the quality of the lives we live. Sometimes, by concentrating only on the cup, we fail to enjoy the coffee God has provided us.  Maybe it is time to spend a little more time and effort on the parts of our life that have meaning and connect us to those we love.