Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Good Kids

Good kids.

Is that all we want?

I think that I have spent the better part of the last 14 years of raising my children focusing on just that. Sure "good" to me involves a whole lot more than what it might mean to someone else.

Do they love God?
Are they kind and compassionate?
Unselfish, generous and good servers?
Obedient, and respectful?

These things matter to me, these are traits that I hold in esteem before my children. I measure their behavior according to how well they are fulfilling these qualities. I strive to reach their hearts with the importance of each of these in their life. I disciple, exhort, rebuke and discipline with their character in mind.

I want to raise kids that are not only a blessing to me but to others around me. I want to live in a home where there is joy, and dissension and conflict is at a medium.
This takes work, lots of work. It takes time, lots of time.

So much work and time that sometimes I forget that there is more. A whole lot more.

Will it be enough if I raise children that are just good?

I don't believe so. I think that there are lots of good Christian people out there. There are lots of good Christian people filling the pews every Sunday.

Christ didn't preach that we were to strive for good. He did not preach that we were to reach the epitome of good. We already know that our righteousness is like filthy rags. There is no comparison to Gods holiness, His perfection.

What did He preach then?

Matthew 16:25~For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it.

I think that Christian parents today have fallen prey to the worlds standards of success.
Sure they want little Johnny to grow up good, but they also want little Johnny to grow up privileged, to have most everything, to take part in most everything, to compete in most everything. They want the best education, the most opportunities, and little Johnny to not experience loss, pain, or want.

I most definitely believe education is important. But not at the expense of godly discipleship. I want opportunities for my children, but not just good, fun opportunities. I want them to experience service opportunities, difficult opportunities, and uncomfortable opportunities.

I have no desire to raise wimpy, pampered children. I have no desire to have lazy, indulged, pushy, or bully children.

When I look at my children's future I do not dream of fancy colleges or universities. I don't aspire for them to have lofty degrees and prestigious letters after their names.

No I am striving for something more, much more.

Will my children be willing to lose their life if asked... as in would they be willing to lay down earthly dreams, goals if God laid it on their heart to do so?

Will they strive after the worlds idea of success or will they seek the less prominent, less appealing, humble pursuit of service?

I realize that the world has a need for Christian doctors, lawyers, engineers and professors. But within those prestigious positions there are non prestigious choices. If God has given my child a gift, a skill if you may and has laid it on his heart to pursue one of these occupations would he be willing to set aside the many opportunities that came his way to seek out a way to use his position, his gift in humble service?

This may mean loss of status, loss of opportunities, loss of financial gain maybe even income.

Whoever is willing to lose his life for me will gain his life

I take it very seriously my role in equipping my children with this mindset. My training, my teaching, the experiences I provide for them, the experiences that they find themselves in that I do not rescue them from, the things that I let them struggle through.

All of this is beneficial, it provides a framework from which God can work within in their hearts.`

Why would we want our children to seek earthly gain, what eternal value is in that?

Heavenly minded, Kingdom purposes... those should be our goals.

Good is great.

But good is not good enough.

Strive for more mommies...strive for so much more.


Robin Saylor said...

I agree whole heartedly!
Recently I read someone's "who am I" on facebook - it said, "I want to raise NICE kids". Basically she said she wants kids who are nice to be around - good neighbours, good family members, good community folks. I wanted to kick her in the pants and say, "get passionate" - I want kids who are PASSIONATE about God and want to live as passionate people - not just nice people.
Amen sister!

Liberty said...

Amen! Amen! Amen! This is so right on. What is sad is that I know many christian moms who would read this and not even get it. What a world we live in. Thank you for writing this!

Dawnelle said...

GREAT post! Wow.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Amen Sister and Dito!!!

mumsrea said...

I agree. But as the token friend with the fancy universities and prestigious letters after her name I have to be honest and qualify my agreement. (It goes without saying that everything I did in higher education WAS out of a relentless pursuit of self gratification...)

While it is true that people do pursue careers and education to indulge their selfishness, it isn't always the case.

I believe that higher education is an important part of good stewardship and I think kids who are gifted or talented intellectually should strive to fully develop their skills. (I think it is an obligation, in fact.) Of course the only God honouring way to do this is to keep eyes focused on God and hearts focused on using their gifts for His glory.

Christian lawyers are behind HSLDA and ACLJ, and let's also remember that the pro-life battle is not being fought on the mission field.

So I think that raising our kids to know that they can rise above the seductive and material side of professions like law or business is an important part of character building.

I know that you don't disagree with all of this, but I think it bears repeating. We can't hold up missions or ministry or ditch digging as somehow inherently more God honouring than being a doctor or dentist.

It is all in what is in their heart, and on what their eyes are focused.

~Jan~ said...

Ohhh you just made my day. I needed to hear that post right now! There are so many times when I end up in that cycle of uh I messing up my kids by not giving them the same opportunity as others. Thank you for that sweet reminder that I am absolutely on the right track in raising them to want to serve, not be served and to want to know the Lord not to try to do everything for their own glory and in their own strength. Thank you thank you thank you!!

The Passionate Housewife said...


We agree most definitely that it is all about the heart and the willingness to die to oneself.

In no way do I believe that digging ditches or mission work is more God honoring if God has led an intellectually talented or academically gifted child into a prestigious job choice.

However, I believe that if God has laid that particular occupation on someones heart...HE has a purpose.

Gods purposes do not aline themselves with self gratification.

Like I mentioned godly lawyers, professors and doctors are needed. But, a lawyer working with HSLDA or in the Pro-life movement is NOT lining his pantpockets nor working for the penthouse office suite! lol. He faces much opposition and hostility as he fights for the rights of families or the unborn. There is no financial gain, nor colleague respect.

A lawyer fighting for the rights of the persecuted church in foreign countries not only risks constant family torment but imprisonment and even death.

Doctors who take their skills across the world to care for the "least of these" is not going to be the popular choice. Status and financial gain will not be in his future.

A professor who teaches his students to think for themselves instead of indoctrinating them with
lies, and opinions.

Standing for truth and providing both sides of the story could cause him to be branded intolerant, he could lose the respect of his peers, and be passed up for positions that he would otherwise be qualified for.
All because he is not a team player and refuses to roll over and play dead.

These choices would NOT be easy, they would be uncomfortable and difficult to say the least.

What I am saying would be looked at with disdain and hostility by secular parents, and even amongst mainstream Christian parents it would seem extreme and unpopular.

The narrow path is just that...

mumsrea said...

I wasn't suggesting that YOU were saying that one profession was inherently more God honouring than another. I was suggesting that we need to guard against it.

Money isn't evil. The LOVE of it is.

The Passionate Housewife said...


I'm Erin. said...

Love this!
It took me a while to figure out that a lot of times my goal was for my kids to be well behaved-- because it reflected on *me*.
It was all about me, and not about them and their character development.
I'm so glad that I realized early enough that I was on the wrong track.
I'm still learning, but I see things differently now, and I'm more focused on training them to live for the Lord than to behave to make me look good.
Which, to be honest, they weren't that hot at anyway ;)

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