Recently, I asked Pam King to participate in this summer's parenting series. Before I share her advice with you let me give you some background on this woman of God.
Jim and Pam have been in full-time ministry since 1976. In addition to their calling of evangelism, they have been active in overseas evangelism, church planting and development, humanitarian relief, and orphanages.
Since 1992 the ministry has established over 280 DVD formatted Bible schools, and sponsored nearly 200 new church plants in Eastern Europe and the Middle East. The most recent church plants have been in Israel.
In 1995 the Kings established a humanitarian fund focused on answering the cries of the less fortunate. One result has been establishing House of Joy orphanage in Kahovka, Ukraine. The King’s ministry travels have taken them to places such as Brazil, Cuba, Russia, Siberia, Ukraine, South Korea, China, Israel, Romania, India, North Korea, Turkey and many others.
Their overseas ministry is focused on church planting and development, and humanitarian aid. In addition to their overseas ministry, Jim and Pam are actively committed to an extensive speaking schedule in churches and conferences across the nation. Jim and Pam have hosted scores of teams on overseas missions trips and Holy Land tours.
The ministry maintains offices in Kiev and Kahovka, Ukraine and Tulsa, OK. Jim and Pam have two adult children, Drew and Natalie.
There is a funny thing about us parents.....we think we know more than God.
We all have a plan for our children. Well, I should say that I had a plan for my children. The plan for Drew was to go to ORU and that he did. He first enrolled in another university that offered him a baseball scholarship. After accepting and moving his things to Kansas, he quickly realized that was not what God had planned for him. He packed his things and returned to Tulsa to attend Oral Roberts University. My plan for Natalie was to go to ORU, meet a nice young man, get married and go into ministry together.
As our children, Drew and Natalie, were growing up, we instilled in them the fact, “You will go to college.” Drew graduated from Oral Roberts University. During Natalie’s senior year of high school, she came to us and said, “Would you release me from college next year to go to the Dream Center?” There is a Dream Center in Tulsa, OK, so we automatically thought that was what she was talking about. We said, “Sure.” We will contact our friend that is over the Tulsa Dream Center. NO! She meant the Dream Center in Los Angeles, CA which is located in the heart of Los Angeles where the gangs are, which is a very bad area.
We decided that we would take Easter weekend, fly out to Los Angeles to show her the LA Dream Center so she could see just how rough an area it really was. My purpose was for her to see it and realize that wasn’t the place for her. So, Jim, Natalie and I flew to LA and visited the Dream Center. We went to church at Angelus Temple on Sunday morning. There you have the rich and famous but on the other hand, you have the former gang members and homeless people. As I looked around that morning sitting in the church service, I had a conversation with God. My conversation went like this, “Now God...my daughter is called to ministry, has a great personality, is fun loving, talented and beautiful.” “I have a plan for her and that plan is to go to ORU, meet a nice young man, get married and go into ministry together.” “I’m sure, God, there are other young girls that you can call out here to the LA Dream Center.” My thought was some other girls that aren’t as talented as my daughter. I am just being transparent here. God began showing me the spiritual pride and vanity in my heart. Yuck!
Then God started talking to me. He said, “Haven’t you raised your children to hear the voice of God?” I replied, “Yes, Lord!” God responded to me, “Well, Natalie has heard the voice of God and now you are trying to talk her out of it.” At that moment I knew that God’s plan for Natalie was better than mine and that God loved her more than I love her. At that moment I released her to the plan of God with full confidence that God’s plan for her was better than my plan and that God loved her more than I love her.
God gives us children. We dedicate and give them back to God. Our job as parents is to give them guidance and teach them to hear the voice of God and follow His leading, as they belong to God first.