Over the years, some of the conversations I’ve heard among parents have baffled my mind. The conversations seem to be centered on education--what college the kids will go to, and what they hope will be their future career. Of course, there isn’t anything wrong with these conversations. We want the same for our children. We want to equip our children with the skills it takes to go out into this world and be successful. However, it all depends on what you define as success.
Our definition of success looks just a little different. Scholastic education is important to us, but it is not our top priority. Grades, classes, and colleges don’t impress us. What does impress us is character, and when children know how to respect authority, each other, and themselves. Our focus doesn’t revolve just around books. This might sound like an old school mindset to you, but on top of character building, we are training up our children to be wives and a husband. We want them to have the skills they need to excel in their marriages. They need to know what it takes to have a healthy marriage, raise a family, and be wise with money. They need to have good people skills, and respect for parents. They need to know how to have goals and dreams, and know what it takes to make all of them a reality. We want them to know how to build healthy relationships, and most importantly, we want them to know the living and one true God. Everything else tour children will pursue will stem from these principles.
I know many people long for the same for their children. Maybe they are afraid to have these conversations or don't know how to go about it. Anyone can get another career or education, but think how hard it will be for your child if they don’t know what to look for in a spouse or how to be a good one. My husband and I struggled in the beginning of our relationship and brought so much baggage into our marriage. I don’t write this blog because I think we are perfect. It is written because of the heartache, shed tears, and lessons we have learned along the way. If we had continued living the way the world expected us to, we would be on the road to divorce.
Think about this, being in a broken marriage is more devastating than it is to be at a job you don’t like. A job you can change. It really doesn’t affect anyone but you. Yes, financially it may hurt, or you might have to move your family, but those are temporary problems. More money can be made and people adapt to new places. However, a dying marriage not only affects you, but everyone in your family. Yes, people do survive through divorce. And please know that this post is not intended to make anyone feel guilty or bad if you have had to make those choices. But don’t we want more for our children? Don’t we want something different for them?
I understand one of the reasons these conversations don’t happen is because the majority of people don’t know how to rescue themselves or their marriage. They were never taught. Instead society has made a joke out of the union between a man and women, when it was designed for so much more.
So, if we want more for our children, what do we need to do? We need to become a people who are not afraid to be open, honest, and real. We need to heal our relationships and ourselves, and teach our children that though we live in this world, we don't have to be of this world. That means that we don't have to go along with the crowd, we can stand out and be different. I understand that these are scary thoughts, to have to move from surface-level conversations to getting real. However, it is worth facing the fear, or else history will repeat itself. Our eyes must be open, and we must do something different. These are the conversations we as parents need and should be having with our children.
Grades, universities, and careers may sound great right now, but I’m sure you know many smart people who lack character. They lack the skills it takes to build a strong family. They may have the dream job, but are still living a life they regret, married to a wife they hate, and have kids they don’t even know. Don’t you want more for your kids?