My husband and I simply cannot agree on how to best help our son look for a college. My husband keeps stressing financial security and finding a career path that's going to assure our son a job (and a good one) when he finishes college. He's really talking a lot about getting our son into a well-known, "brand-name" school. I'm more into living out your dreams, using your gifts and making sure you're where God wants you to be. It's not as important that my son get into a prominent school. I just want him to really seek God's plan for his life, and wherever he can grow in faith and responsibility is fine with me. This disagreement is really causing a lot of tension in our marriage. What can we do to resolve our differences and truly be helpful to our son?
Your son is blessed to have two parents who are interested in helping him make a solid decision. Even your areas of disagreement can provide him with a valuable experience as he observes you listening to and honoring each other. In his future he will likely be required to make choices among competing possibilitiesboth of which could be right!
The first thing I would encourage you and your husband to do: Talk to your son! It's important to keep in mind that your shared focus should be on helping your son make his own decisionrather than trying to get him to follow the dreams you or your husband have for him. It's likely that he has some thoughts about what he wants to do, and the three of you can work toward his goals together.
It's also important to realize that your different emphases during your son's college decision are not mutually exclusive. Whatever your son does as a career, it will be important for him to listen for God's voice and seek to live in a way that pleases God. And although he may focus his plans on job security now, God may have something different for him by the time he graduates. Together, the three of you can trust God to reveal his plans for your son, guide him toward the path he should take, and provide for his needs. Then all of you will be happy!
If you and your husband still struggle to understand one another on this important issue, I'd encourage you to meet with your pastor to pray together, to discuss your concerns and to hear one another out. This is a time of transition for all three of you, and your son needs all of the support you and your husband can give himtogether.
Judy Moseman is vice president for student life at Bethel College (MN).