Most Parents did have a purpose for their children’s lives, but this purpose was not maturity in Jesus Christ. Their purpose was for their purpose was for their children to be “happy.” And what exactly was necessary for their children to achieve this elusive goal? To enable their children to attain happiness, parents in our community tended to push their children into high-stress combinations of college preparatory courses, extracurricular activities, and specialized sports programs. the parents’ driving assumption was that these experiences were essential for their children to get into good colleges, which would result in good jobs, which would enable the children to achieve the same high standards of material living as their parents, which would in turn make the children—you guessed it, happy.

What these parents did not know is that these same students walked into our offices or met us at coffee shops to tell us, “My parents are rich, important, successful—and miserable. I don’t want their life. Help me find something better!”

-Jay Strother, “Family-Equipping Ministry: Church and Home as Cochampions” in Perspectives on Family Ministry: 3 Views, ed. Timothy Paul Jones (Nashville,TN: B&H Academics, 2009), 147.