Webster’s Dictionary defines success as the following:
the fact of getting or achieving wealth, respect, or fame
the correct or desired result of an attempt
someone or something that is successful : a person or thing that succeeds
As we continue in this series of post about the book “Raising Kids for True Greatness”, we need to understand how the world defines success. Dr. Kimmel writes,
We live in a day when success is defined by looks, IQ, strategic alliances, titles, and world records. Success is supposed to attract people’s attention and put you in a superior position in the human pecking order. And it is the natural desire average parents have for their children.
It’s easy to see that parenting can become preoccupied with crowding a child’s academic, athletic, and social resume with the accolades that count most in our culture but don’t have any bearing on eternity.
This world has said that our children have to be the…smartest, fastest, prettiest, best connected, most popular, best outfitted, best rewarded and most confident.
Everywhere we turn and just about everything we hear people say reminds us that we should be raising kids who primary goal is to post high marks and great statistic. To them, life is about success that can be quantified in degrees or dollar signs.
Dr. Kimmel goes on to talk about 5 “anchor tenets” of the success illusion:
Without even trying, parents can unwittingly format their children to need the empty praise of fame by orchestrating their lives so that they can become popular among their young peer groups. There’s a fine line between encouraging our children to excel and pushing them to achieve the public’s attention in the process
True greatness does not have power as its goal, but it often gains power by default.
Health & Beauty
The problem comes when we deify and worship health and beauty. This happens when our view of ourselves doesn’t come from our relationship with God but from the way we fit into our clothes and the images looking back at us in the mirror each morning.
Money is so important to many parents that it is not uncommon for a mom or dad to push a child to pursue a certain vocation simply because of its income potential. Whether the child has an aptitude for it, or even enjoys it, is irrelevant. The important thing is that he spends his adult life doing something that pays well.
We must be careful to avoid equating wealth with greatness. They are NOT the same!
Parents, let strive to raise our children with a passionate love for God that demonstrates itself in an unquenchable love and concern for others. Let’s not let the world determine what is success in the lives of our children. Let’s look to God’s Word for guidance and direction for their lives.
Matthew 20:25-28 – “Whoever wants to become great among you must serve the rest of you like a servant. Whoever wants to become first among you must serve the rest of you like a slave. In the same way, the Son of Man did not come to be served. He came to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many people”