If My Children Get A Good Education, Get A Good Job, Get And Stay Married, I Will Consider Myself A Failure As A Father
If we are to aim at success in raising our children, then we ought to at least be willing to define what that success would be. As a father who desires to see all of life from a biblical perspective, that success is going to look different from the world’s ideas of success. It would seem wise to me, therefore, to start by seeing all of life as a short prelude to an eternal destiny of torturous damnation or heavenly bliss.
But I know that our world lies to us. It seeks to comfort us with promises of gray. We are incessantly warned against the folly of seeing things as either black or white. Gray is a safe refuge, or so we are told. But not for me! Gray is ignorance. It is an unsafe place; a place of shortsightedness. Standing at a fork in the road does not afford us such a gray existence. We must proceed in but one direction. And so it will be at our last breath. Our past will determine our eternal future. And this life will be but a speck in light of what lies beyond it, and it is in that speck that the choice must be made to either clothe ourselves in Christ, so that the real us can be hidden from our Father in heaven, or to dare approach Jehovah’s throne of judgment naked.
Yet it is our sinful nature to fix our eyes on the speck that is the present. But in doing so we can’t but define success according to its standards. We find ourselves hoping above all that our children are spared material want first, and spiritual want second. But this is a short-sighted perspective. To fix our eyes on Jesus is to fix our eyes on eternity and not this race! It is in eternity that His throne, at the right hand of the Father, is situated. The great cloud of witnesses do not cheer when we graduate from a secular humanist college, or get that high paying job. We are deceived if we do not grasp that good character will give our children joy. A starved spirit with well-fed flesh is success, at best, for only a moment within this speck of time. The “present” intends to divert our fleshy eyes from our ultimate destiny by selling us sheetrock, cars, and toys. But it will leave all who dare try it wanting.
Away with such folly! It is better, if I truly take Jesus’ words to heart, to define success for my children by their love for Him, and their desire to follow his commandments. It is my daily prayer. It is my life. May my children be complete failures in the eyes of this world and yet receive great applause from the great cloud of witnesses who have gone before them. That is how I define success.