Demystifying Misunderstandings

Sometimes the most important part of clearing up misunderstandings is talking about them.

Recently, my grown daughter asked me to join her in attending six sessions on learning one's purpose in life. I decided it would be wonderful to spend some time together since my daughter was soon to be married.

In preparation for the study, I pondered my purpose in life. I specifically contemplated how I raised my children to know God.

As a mother, I knew that I needed to teach my children values that would lead them to know God and, ultimately, find happiness. I assumed I would revisit some of these values in the Purpose Driven study. But I never expected to evaluate my role as mother.

Each meeting brought me to my knees as I listened to my daughter share her faith. As we drove home, we would talk about childhood events and what she had learned from them. I was stunned by her memories; I really thought I had taught her more than what she revealed.

For instance, I thought that I had always expressed that my faith rituals were just aids to deepening my faith. She thought I saw them as intrinsic, almost magical—that without them her faith was offensive or disingenuous. I merely had been fearful that without the rituals her faith might be a shallow, feel-good one.

Prior to this study, neither one of us knew how to share these fears. Having participated in the study, we renewed our relationship while learning from our past. Ultimately, we challenged each other to deepen our relationship with God.

What a picture of God's plan for his children to nurture one another.

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