What if your kid never really does all that great in sports? While all of his friends are making diving catches and hitting home runs, the only action he sees is during practice. In right field. Where he likes to pick flowers and see how long he can stare at the sun before blinking. Oh, and that’s when he’s in the 11th grade. Would that be okay?
What if your kid never really gets it when it comes to reading? Suppose, on her best day, she’s somewhere around the middle of the pack in her class. And in the second grade, when all of her friends find out that they’re reading on a fifth grade level she has the number 2.1 under the reading comprehension column next to her name. Would that be okay?
What if your kid is never recognized for her exceptional good looks? It’s not that she’s ugly. She’s just not prom queen material. Or even prom date material. And so she misses out on the pictures, limo ride and good times that come along with that rite of passage. Would that be okay?
What if your kid just isn’t wired for college? When God knit him together, he was thinking more of trade school than the Ivy League. And so, when all of his friends are getting acceptance letters in the spring and moving away the next fall, he’s looking for a job that will work around his hours at the trade school where he’s learning how to weld. Would that be okay?
There’s a trend among parents these days. Maybe it’s always been the trend but I’m just noticing now that I’m a parent. We want our kids speaking two different languages by the age of six, dribbling a basketball with both hands by eight and talking to colleges in middle school. And here’s the thing about parents. At least the ones in this country. When we want something, especially something for our kids, we’re willing to pay for it. So we give some guy $75 a week to teach our three-year-old the Spanish word for bathroom. And we give another guy $100 a week to tie our four-year-old’s right hand behind his back so that he can dribble with his left hand. But don’t worry, it’s for their own good. They’ll thank us when they get that college scholarship.
No pressure, kid but here’s to hoping that God didn’t hardwire you to be a welder.
And that’s what we forget in all of our parental hustling. God. What might he want? And what if what he wants for our kids contradicts what we want for our kids? Who wins then?
Maybe your kid will grow up to be a beautiful, well-read athlete with her choice of colleges to attend. Maybe. But maybe not. What then? If she never plays for a World Cup, will your daughter still be able to look back on her little league soccer days with fond memories of friendship and building a foundation for good physical health? Or will she think of her life as one big failure because she never met your expectations? Will that be okay?
But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7 (ESV)
It’s good to know that our heavenly Father is not like some earthly parents.
While some earthly parents tend to focus only on the physical, our heavenly Father looks deeper.
For while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. 1 Timothy 4:8 (ESV)
While some earthly moms and dads get wrapped up in how their kids look, our heavenly Father reminds us of what he finds to be beautiful.
But let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious. 1 Peter 3:4 (ESV)
Back to the original question. What if your kid grows up to be average? Average as grits. No scholarship. No multi-million dollar signing bonus. Will that be okay? Most of us are quick to answer yes. But that’s just the verbal answer. The Sunday School answer. There’s a better way to find the truth. Maybe the way that we spend our money and time is saying to our kids and the God who made them, “No! It’s not okay. I demand the best.”
Whatever your answer may be, your kids are paying attention to it.
And so is God.
What if all of your dreams for your children came true? The scholarships. The popularity. The success. It was all theirs. And yours. But you lacked one thing. Your First Love. What if you gained the whole world for you and your kids only to lose your soul?
Would that be okay?