How can you help your child be a success?

Fifty six men secretly gathered on a hot day in July. With no air conditioning the room was sweltering but they had more critical matters than comfort on their minds. They gathered to sign a document that would essentially be their death warrant. It would put them on a crash course with the government. If caught they would be arrested, perhaps executed as traitors.

But they were committed to the idea that “all men are created equal”.

What they were saying is that royalty or commoner, all people are of equal value because they have been stamped with the image of their Creator.

But we also realize that not all people are created equal. That same Creator deposited differing abilities and talents, strengths and weaknesses in each of His children. No two are exactly alike. He handcrafted each to accomplish His good purpose in them. (Ephesians 2:10)

A hammer is designed to do a specific job. A pencil does a different job. A hammer in a “pencil” world can easily think something is wrong with him. The “hammer” child needs lots of affirmation from parents who understand there is nothing wrong with being a “hammer”. Because his report card – designed to measure virtues of “pencil people” – will certainly look like he is a lost cause.

So what is it that causes one child to succeed and another to fail?
How can I help my child be a success?

Proverbs says “Train up a child in the way he should go.”  What are the talents and abilities God deposited into your child?  What are his/her strengths, weaknesses? What is the way he should go?  This passage tells us to study our child so we can train them according to God’s plan even if it is not the way we would prefer them to go. Rejoice in and celebrate the way God designed them – because you know His way is the best way.

If you have all A+ kids that’s awesome but if your child works hard to make Cs or Ds then rejoice with him over every C or D.  Encourage him to do his best but if Cs or Ds are his best then rejoice. Don’t let it drag you down and don’t destroy his/her spirit by nagging and badgering your “hammer” to be a “pencil”.   Instead, encourage him to be a hammer that honors God by being the very best hammer he can be.

Keep a long term, eternal vision for your children.  When they stand before God they will be judged on what they did with what God gave them.  At that time salaries, savings accounts, degrees and worldly accolades are not going to impress the Judge. Help them to accept how God made them.  Help them to be kind, generous, tender-hearted, in short, to develop the fruit of the spirit (Galatians 5) in their lives.

Research consistently shows that even worldly “success” depends more on how well you work with other people than on grades in school. When you teach your children to “love their neighbor as themselves” you are teaching them how to work well with other people. You are instilling a major key to getting ahead in life.

If you teach them to love God with all their heart, mind, soul and strength and to love their neighbor as themselves you will not only make them more successful in whatever career they choose but it also makes them a “success” in the eyes of God – the only One whose grade really matters.

Whatever you do, do it enthusiastically, as something done for the Lord and not for men, knowing that you will receive the reward of an inheritance from the Lord. You serve the Lord Christ.
– Colossians 3:23, 24

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