On a recent walk with our almost-2-year-old daughter, my wife and I were talking about her future.

We wondered out loud about what she’ll study, her passions and her eventual career path. If you’re a parent, I’m sure you’ve had these thoughts and conversations as well.

Like most parents, we want her to be happy. (I suppose any alternative thought might be a bad signal for us as parents.) However, these days the world seems to have a ton of ideas for how to be happy. If you listen to the world, most of the best ways to be happy are centered on doing whatever you want, and being whoever you want to be.

We think, as two parents with a bit of life experience and faith to guide us, a first step will be to guard against one of the most popular lies the world will try to tell her…

…that she can be ANYTHING she wants to be when she grows up.

If we want her to be happy, we have to be honest about this big, powerful, lie. While she will certainly have the free will to make her own choices, doing whatever she wants will not make her happy. In fact, I’m pretty sure there is a mountain of evidence in the opposite direction.

That’s a lie. That’s a very common and powerful lie, especially in terms of vocation and identity.

God made her on purpose. He made her FOR a purpose. Like all of us, He made her unique.

She is beautifully, uniquely and wonderfully made. As she grows, we want to let her imagination run free to explore interests, hobbies, passions and the world! But we want her to do it so she can discover who she is made to be, not so she can choose from a world of options. And not so she can ebb and flow with the latest trends.

We’re pretty convinced ‘being happy’ in life will be doing the thing the she was MADE to do, not doing anything she can imagine.

It’s always best to be a square peg in a square hole.