I was thinking this morning about raising children. I have to admit when I pause to think about the responsibility it can be overwhelming. I think sometimes we lose our focus and educate them for the goal of getting into a good college. When in reality we should be educating them for more than that. We should be educating them for life. College is just a small portion of life. I am not downplaying the importance for some of getting a degree. In some fields of study it is absolutely necessary.
In reality we only have a few short years to prepare our children for life. There are so many important things we should teach them. Other than those that should be obvious to a believer, I am going to share two that I think many young adults are lacking today. One is delayed gratification and the other is a strong work ethic.
We are a country of emotional, instant gratification decision makers. We see this in the amount of debt most Americans have piled up. We cannot save for what we want. We have to have it now. We deserve a vacation even though we can’t afford one. We need a flat screen TV, we need …we need… get the picture. It is hard for us to teach our children to save and wait for something when they see us pull out the credit card. I am sure you have learned by now that the item you just had to have, after purchased just isn’t as great as you thought it would be. Then you are off to buy something else that will make you happy. I get caught in this too. It is easy to be entangled in the world.
Last summer my son worked with his dad mowing lawns. All summer he saved his money. At the end of the summer he purchased what he had been saving for a brand new name brand pair of Heelies. He put them on and skated around. He thought they were great for about six hours. Then he said, “I wish I hadn’t bought these. That was a lot of money for a pair of shoes. They are not as great as I thought they were going to be”. I hated that he felt that way about something he had worked all summer for, but you know he learned a great lesson that day that he will not soon forget. Material things are never as good as you think they will be.
I am proud of him for working for the shoes and saving all summer. Many young adults are just lazy. I wonder sometimes if it is because they are so addicted to screens. TV, computer, play station etc. There seems to be no pride in hard work. It is more like lets see how little work I can do and still get paid or pass this or that class. We need to teach our children to work and work hard. Work was not the curse in the garden. There was work before the curse. Let you children work at home. Make them help around the house. That is part of being a family, everyone doing his part to keep the house running smoothly.
These are two areas I am working on with my children. I so want to prepare them for life. To be all that God has for them and not to get caught in worldly traps that might take years to overcome.
first published… August 7, 2007 by littlesanctuary