Wednesday, December 08, 2010


We live in a strange world with skewed priorities.

I was speaking with a friend of mine the other day about our hopes and dreams for our kids.  She was telling me how she hoped her children did well in school, went to good colleges, got great jobs and were happy.  Which all sounds great.  I mean, what kind of mom wouldn't want those things for her kids?  We all want our kids to be happy and successful, right?

Except I wonder what gauge we are using to measure success - the world's or our Father's?  Because I never see good grades as a prerequisite for godliness.  I've never read that making money or getting an education are things we are called to.  There is nothing wrong with getting a college education, to be sure.  But are we insisting on measuring our children against the world's yardstick when we elevate book learning?

One hundred years ago a man could be a success without knowing much more than reading and writing.  He could farm the land, love his kids and wife and serve his God and be considered a success.  Because character and reputation were more important than money or knowledge (the Good Book says knowledge puffs up, but the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom).

But now we have added requirements for success.  Standards that only suit a certain type of child, but are applied across the board.

I have one daughter who will be successful on the world's terms.  Susannah loves to read, loves to write and loves to study.  She's friendly and outgoing and easy.

And I have at least two kids who are quirky.  Reading is not coming easily to them.  They are kind and sweet and wildly creative.  Nate loves stories and knows far more about history than most boys his age.  Abigail is constantly making some new craft or invention to brighten our lives.

And I am saddened to know that if I hold them to the world's standards of success, they may fail to measure up.  They may never have the 4.0 GPA.

But I can hold them to the Father's standards.  I can teach them to follow Him wholeheartedly.  To love people with His love and serve others.  I can teach them to measure their success by their relationship to their Maker instead of on the false scales of academic achievement.

And if I can do that, I will have succeeded.


sophiaofthrace said...

I have to remember this sometimes when I worry about all the extras my kids might not get to experience being homeschooled. Things I can't afford or don't have the resources or know-how to provide for them. What are really the most important things we can teach them?

Mellanie S. said...

Your post brought tears to my eyes. Keep your eyes on the heavenly goals!

Aimee said...

I totally hear you and understand you! My girls are both kinda quirky, and though they may enjoy some success as the world defines it, I have to focus more on the really important--and eternal--things.

Beautiful post! Thank you for sharing your heart.

Megan said...

Wow... very well said! Thank you for sharing.

wordstolivebymommy said...

My son is super smart, but we are struggling in some areas because of the ASD. I know that yardstick and I want to kick it in the "you-know-what".