Just recently I’ve had discussions with others serving in children’s ministry and we were talking about the differences in generations as parents. Growing up in the 70’s-80’s it seemed my parents wanted me to learn about my creativity, how to win and how to lose, to fail without getting hurt or hurting others. I learned somethings the hard way but always under the watchful eye of my parents.
Today’s generation, seems to want to prevent these things or at least soften the blows of these life lessons. It brings me to the question, What do we want/don’t want for our children? As a father of 4 now young adults and teens, I and my wife worked hard at allowing much of the same things our parents allowed so that our kids could experience and learn life lessons under our watchful care without preventing some of the bumps and bruises along the way.
I wanted my kids to learn you don’t always WIN in life and that sometimes you lose. I wanted my kids to learn to think about the consequences of their decisions and sometimes that is best done by letting them experience them, even when they are negative ones.
I want my children to learn that suffering and sacrifice are part of what is needed in our world today and that ultimately something they will have to endure and not run from.
I want my kids to realize that there is no greater pursuit than chasing after God and following him 100% I want my kids to go farther, reach more, love deeper, serve others in greater ways than I could ever dream of. I want them to live out:
Philippians 1:9-11 “And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, 10 so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, 11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.”
What I don’t want for my children is to go through life pursuing what the world says to pursue.
“Get all you can.” “Eat, Drink, be Happy.” “Be all that you can be.” “Have it YOUR way.” “You have to be the BEST.” “Everyone has to be a winner.” “He who has the most toys, wins!”
I was never a parent who wanted my kid to get a trophy for last place, I didn’t tell my kids they always have to have the best of everything, the newest of everything and to value things above people.
I don’t want my kids to think the world revolves around them!
I finish my little rambling today with the key words from the passage above, I want my children’s Love to abound, To have knowledge and depth of insight, to discern what is best, so they can live pure and blameless before God. To be filled with fruit of God’s righteousness, so that all who see and know them will give glory to God!!
What do you want for your children or the kids you minister to?
The Holy Bible: New International Version (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1984), Php 1:9–11.