It’s graduation time once again. The world is full of young people who are joyfully checking off a major milestone in their lives. Likewise, proud parents are throwing parties to honor their special graduate. It’s a time of reflection, celebration, and looking forward to a new chapter in life. I celebrate with those who are graduating this year. You are to be commended for the time and energy you have put forth to bring you to this point. I pray you don’t forget God during this important juncture of your life.
Sadly, by this point in many young peoples’ lives their parents have already defined success to their children—and its precisely what the world has prescribed as success. Here’s how it looks—even in many Christian homes.
“My child graduated from school with honors.”
“My child was accepted into ****** university.”
“My child just accepted an internship with this big firm.”
“My child was voted ‘Most popular’ at their school.”
“My child is going to major in law and is planning on becoming an attorney.”
“My child just accepted a job making six figures.”

Notice what’s not in any of these “success statements”? God and His will. If God is not a priority for parents then He will not be a priority for their children. If your definition for success comes from the world, then don’t be surprised when your graduate embraces the world. Want to turn the world upside down again? Then introduce your graduate to a new series of success statements. (Or better yet, teach them to your young children so they “get it” by graduation.)
“My child is helping to lead worship at our local congregation this summer.”
“My child preparing to go on a mission trip to teach the lost.”
“My child is teaching and converting his/her friends to Christ.”
“My child is using their talents to build our congregation’s web site.”
“My son has accepted a job that will allow his future wife to remain at home if she chooses.”
“My daughter is preparing to be a homemaker to raise faithful children for the Lord.”
“My child is preparing to be a preacher or elder.”
To all those who are graduating I say congratulations! Well done. Now take your education and continue to grow in wisdom and stature for Him. Fear God. And help us turn this world upside down once again!
By Brad Harrub, Ph.D.