Tuesday, November 3, 2015

(Un)Comfortable Life

A good-conscience life will never be comfortable.

A parent's worst nightmare is that their child will be swept comfortably along by culture and style and the crowd. Peer influence is particularly difficult to resist, and it can be the most disruptive element in a child's development, especially when it conflicts with parental goals and values.

Our alternative is to deliberately raise a leader instead of a follower, a self-shaped individual who understands how to choose their own path, make their own mistakes, and pursue their own goals.  It's not comfortable, but it can be the difference between meaningful or meaningless years.

It's hard enough managing our own life, of course.  It's difficult to objectively evaluate and choose our path through the alternatives thrown in our face by life and media.  So how might we equip a child to face that same minefield?

A suggestion -- Pull, don't push.  Draw them forward as decision-makers, standard bearers, change-makers and help-bringers.

Issues of faith and conviction come first, perhaps, and must be practical rather than wishful thinking.  Let them pick their cause, conduct their own inquiries, listen to their own heart.  Children can be deeply moved by small concerns from which sound principles and life goals can emerge.  And, they'll learn more from your example than from your words.  The things that are important to you can become important to them.

Live strong from a good conscience.  Fight the good fight.  Pray a lot.  It's not the most comfortable path, perhaps, but it's more likely to be the right one.