Monday, 5 August 2019

How Do You Measure Your Child's Success?

parenting success

Sooner or later many parents will utter these little words: “I just want my kid to be successful.”

We fill our kid’s days with trips to art museums, give them new styles of music to expand their mind, teach them a foreign language to diversify them, send them to clubs, groups, and lessons to round them out and find their passions. All of this in hopes of raising successful children.

But, how does a parent truly measure success in their child? Is it measured by monetary value? Perhaps their net income they make as adults will determine their success. Is it measured by happiness? Maybe how often they laugh or smile in a day will be the measure of success. Or maybe it’s measured in achievements, awards, and recognition. 

However we are being persuaded to measure success, there is one measurement found in the Bible that cannot be missed.

Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Matt 6:19-21 emphasis my own)

Our measure of success isn’t found in tangible measurements of this world, but in the intangible treasure of eternal hope and a future lived with our Heavenly Father. When we look to create “successful” children our eyes should be focused beyond the treasures and measures of our earthly goods and emotions. Instead, our measuring stick of success should be focused on heavenly treasures, and leading our children to the path of Heaven and straight into the arms of God. 

When we sign up our kids for another class, or take them on another field trip try asking yourself these questions instead:

  1. Is this going to paint a biblically accurate picture of God’s character to my child?
  2. Does this help lead my child in the path God has set out for them?
  3. Is this edifying for my child’s soul?
  4. Will this be one more thing that takes away precious time of exploring God’s goodness inside his creation?
  5. Is this my will or God’s will for my child?  

Of course God has given us joy, fun, and the desire to discover his beauty, intellect, and goodness. It isn’t wrong to fill our minds with foreign languages, books, sports, or music. The trouble is that when we begin to place the value of success on anything outside of God’s will for us, all we have done is create distraction from his perfect plan. 

This should take pressure off us as parents to “get it right”, or “figure it out”, or even to fit one more event into our already busy schedules. It should also ease our minds a little more when our children struggle with a school subject. Of course we want them to do well, but if they fail math class it has no merit on their entrance into Heaven on the day they stand before the Lord. 

When we say, “I just want my child to be successful," let us stay eternally focused, and let the little things fade into the background. Let’s trust God’s plan for our children on earth, and pray more prayers of, “lead them in the path that will keep them closest to you, even if it’s not how I saw it unfolding.” 

parenting ministry for Christians

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