I'm going to stray from my usual content of featuring Avery for a couple posts. I've run across some things in the past week that have stuck with me.
Have you read this article yet? If not, go read it first. It popped up on the web last week, and I keep going back to it. As a mom, a stay-at-home mom, my job is centralized around my daughter, on raising her and shepherding her and training her up for the Lord. This will encompass many aspects of her life over the years, socially, emotionally, academically, etc. It's an overwhelming task at times, and we're still within the first 2 years. I don't yet know how we will approach schooling, or friends, or sleepovers, or weekend trips away, or extracurricular activities...the list goes on. She's already displaying independence and trying to enforce her will over mine. It is easy enough to break that will at almost-2. It will become increasingly harder as she grows, and I also want to learn temperance, where she is able to learn and grow and express herself, while keeping her under the command of God and us, her parents, to live respectfully and graciously. Oy - what a task that lies ahead of us!
So - enter this article. I think every parent wants their child to succeed, to do well, to learn and thrive and love it too. But this sounds so extreme to me! And maybe that is why Westerners tend to not do as well, or be as driven. Maybe they have it figured out. At least, in the sense that they churn out the smartest and most skilled. Is it simply perseverance that produces greatness?
What strikes me, though, is the lack of hope. Granted, this isn't a Christian-based article, or a Christian-based approach to parenting. But when I read something like this, absorbing it and pondering it, turning it over and over in my mind, I have to pass it through the filter of what God is calling me to do in response, with my own parenting. While having children that succeed academically or musically would be a blessing, it's not the most important thing. We must remember that "whatever [we] do, work at it with all [our] hearts, as working for the Lord, not for human masters" (Col. 3:23). It is well and good to work hard, but we must think of our motive. What is driving us? For those in this article, it is simply personal acclaim. May I remember that whatever I do as a parent, and whatever Avery does, if it does not have Love, then it is nothing.
I'd love to hear your thoughts on this.