How to Lay a Strong Foundation with Christ to Impact Student Success
Updated: Jan 1, 2021
Every parent wants their child to be successful in school, college and in their career. Believers are even more invested in their success because they know that 1.) Their child is really God’s child and He always wants the best for His children, and 2.) They want God’s purpose to be fulfilled in their child’s life. So, is your child on the straight and narrow path to college and career success with Christ? Here’s six questions to ask them today:
1. In what ways does God speak to you, especially in school?
With this question, you want to find out if your child is hearing from God. Period. Be sure to ask probing questions to find out more about how He speaks to them, especially in school. Why in school? Because just as you spend 6 to 9 hours at work each day, your children likely spend 6 to 9 hours at school each day. If your child is including God in their everyday interactions at school. like you are at work, then that's great because they are learning how to make Him the center of their life! However, I think it's safe to say that most students wouldn't likely think to include God in their daily decisions in school, unless they 'felt like they needed Him to intervene or if they were in trouble,' which as you can imagine can impact their success in school. And this is where your experience can come in handy. During the course of this conversation, I would encourage you to share about the ways in which you acknowledge God at work throughout the day and to think through some examples of how they can do the same at school.
2. When has God’s presence in your life been most noticeable to you?
Do your best to encourage your youth to share about a specific time when they've seen God working in their life. If this experience is connected to school and their role as a student, that's even better! Help your youth to understand that laying the foundation for student, college and career success begins and ends with Christ. Your child must also be intentional about including God, 'in the middle,' too, which can sometimes seem like a messy spot. Yet, that's where He can sometimes do the most pruning in our life, if we let Him. This would be a good opportunity for you to operate in transparency and to share about some of the experiences when God's presence has been most noticeable to you. If you, too, can find a school-related example, that's terrific, and can help you relate to them in the context of being a student.
3. What areas of your life has God been prompting you to change?
As believers, we should ascribe to the prayer in Psalms 139:23-24, where David asks God to try him, test his anxious thoughts, point out what offends God and to lead him in the way of everlasting. Your child may have some difficulty trying to identify the areas that God is leading them to change, especially in school. Using the bible as our guide and relying on the leading of the Holy Spirit are the best ways to best gauge what we need to change in our life. God is always speaking to us and wanting to commune with us - the real question is, are we listening? Feedback from teachers and other school staff may provide insightful information about the areas that your child needs to grow, so be sure to include this piece in the conversation. Reflecting on your own experiences where God has caused growth in your life will be beneficial, too.
4. Do you know what your purpose is in life? If so, what is it? If not, why not?
This question may feel a bit overwhelming for you or your child to discuss, depending on where they are in their faith walk. The intention of this question is not meant to cause anxiety about answering the, "Big P" question, rather it is to understand if your youth know what they were created for and how to accomplish that mission in the earth. Listen to your child's response, and based on what they say, share with them what God has to say about 'purpose.' If you are confident in your purpose, talk with your child about your journey and help them to make the connection between their purpose, college and/or their career. Hint: There's another article that goes in-depth on this very topic. Be sure to read it to receive additional insight about how to discuss this with your child.
5. How do you think your relationship with God will change when you get to college and/or start your career?
Similar to the previous question, sharing your story will be important. Whether you have gone to college, or if you started your career immediately after high school, you have invaluable experience to help your child to understand how life will change after they leave school, and more importantly, the ways in which their relationship with God may change. Unlike the previous question, they can share what they think things may be like for them by relying on prior knowledge and thinking about their current relationship with God.
6. How can I best pray for you as you are pursuing student success for God's glory? With this question, you want to find out how to specifically meet the needs of your child through prayer and encouragement. Your child already realizes this, but it is good to remind them that you will not be with them in school (unless you home school your child, but even then, I am sure that there are some opportunities for independent work or co-op activities where you are not present), and not to fret because you know the One that will be there! It is essential that as you are praying for, encouraging, as well as sharing your experiences with your child, that you point your child back to Christ! They must know that the only reason that they are successful is because of Him, so He must continue to be a priority in their life!
Well, that's all to it. You now have the six questions that you should be asking your child to help them lay a strong foundation in Christ and in school. And trust me, if they do not appreciate it now, they will thank you for it later, and God will be glorified! Thank you for all that you do to support your child in their educational journey. Your efforts are making dividends towards producing god-fearing adults who choose to serve God for many generations to come. God bless you and happy conversing with your child!
Your Student Success Expert for Believers, Deandra Smith