Being a working woman of faith often includes juggling multiple roles: wife, mother, volunteer, boss, employee, etc.
If you have kids then you know that this time of year can be stressful. Setting your kids up for a successful school year ahead takes more than school supplies and new backpacks, it takes motivation.
You commonly hear these words in a workplace setting, but seldom on the home front. Every business seeks to keep employees motivated and engaged to attain the goals of the organization. The summer time is notorious for employees losing their motivation and interest in accomplishing organizational goals.
The same is true in our homes. Over summer, our kids get a break from the rigors of studying, we take time off to go on family vacations, and motivation wanes. Now that school has started again, how do you keep your kids motivated for the long haul ahead? How can you help them finish strong from the start?
We can use the same tools that we use in the workplace. Here are three biblical ways to help motivate and inspire your kids so they’ll be ready to finish strong and stay motivated in the coming year.
1. An Eye on the Prize
Developing mission statements and setting goals isn’t just for businesses. Your student is on a mission to accomplish the goal of another year of school under their belts. It’s what God is calling them to. Sit down with them to form both the reasons behind what they are doing and the goals they need in place to attain them.
It might start something like this: “________ (your student’s name) is a student at ______in order to _________so that God can use their life to _______ for His kingdom.”
The school year isn’t the goal, the calling of God on their lives is.
“No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.” (Philippians 3:13-14 NLT)
Getting through the year ahead can be daunting. Our students have either already been in school for years or are facing many years ahead of them. Maybe they have a good dose of education fatigue. They have made mistakes and fallen short in the past. When they can put their past failures in perspective with their future possibilities, they can stay motivated. You can help them keep their eye on the prize: their mission of God’s calling on their lives, and ultimately, their heavenly prize.
After you’ve completed the mission statement, frame it and display it prominently so they will be motivated daily to complete the step towards that goal.
2. The Who Behind the What
Whatever mission statement you and your student develop has to be rooted in bringing glory to God. Businesses like to use the “why” behind the “what” to garner engagement, but as believers we have a “Who” behind the “what”.
Bringing honor and glory to God is the high calling of every believer. And we can do that no matter the location or the task.
“And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father.” (Colossians 3:17 NLT)
“Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.” (Colossians 3:23 NLT)
Will your student work during the school year? Let them know that doing it for the Lord is what matters. Do they tend to lack discipline and spend more time with friends than studying? Encourage them to remember that they are studying and working for the Lord God Almighty, not for people.
Have them to ask one question when they are tempted to ditch out on their responsibilities or take shortcuts in their work and studies,
“Who are you doing this for?”
What greater motivation than to know that every job completed, every test taken, every paper written can have eternal ramifications simply by remembering the “Who” behind the “what”?
3. Power to Perform
At the onset, this may be a little daunting to your student: mission statements and eternal motivation. They may fear that they aren’t up for it, afraid that they will let you, and God, down.
One of the many amazing things about our God is that He never asks us to do something without empowering us at the same time.
“For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.” (Philippians 2:13 NLT)
What an amazing promise! We get the desire when we “just don’t feel like it.”, and we get the power we need to do what is pleasing to God. There are many promises just like this one that can help motivate your student. Why not discover them together?
Use a few moments every morning to search the scripture for the promises of God that include His provision and power. Compile list of the verses you find and study together. When your student is struggling, they can use this reference guide for those times that they feel overwhelmed and lose their motivation.
God never expects us to go it alone. He empowers us with His word and His Spirit, and provides us with each other to bring encouragement and exhortation to each other.
Motivating your student may seem harder than motivating an employee at times, but it’s not impossible. God can give you the power to use these three tools and others like them. You may be the catalyst to make a lasting change in the way they view their time in school and how they approach what God calls them to after they graduate.
The original version of this article first appeared on UNW’s parent blog