I was flicking through Instagram tonight, when I came across something shared by someone I follow. It was a lovely family holiday snap, and underneath she had captioned "the greatest legacy we can leave our children are happy memories." And while I appreciate the sentiment, and completely understand that as a parent you want your child to grow up and have wonderful happy memories, my immediate reaction was: Bollocks.
I love my children, and I want them to be happy. But to my mind raising them happy is not my job. My job is to raise people who love God, are kind to other people, and aren't entitled little jerks the world has to endure.
I must admit, I've probably dragged myself a little towards the finish line these school holidays. There's been a little more screens, a little less activity and a little more shouting than I would have liked. I know there are going to be times when I'm on the ball as a parent more than others. But I'm just here right now reminding myself not to give up.
Last night Shane sent me the devotional he had read, and it was on refusing to settle. He was talking about it applying to himself. But I think it applies to our parenting too. I don't want complacency to rob me of the goal I am working towards. Which is to help these children grow up to be strong, courageous, kind, gentle, generous, self-sacrificing, patient, disciplined and humble. We were created for more than 'good enough' and I would like to see my children excel as humans. No necessarily to win awards, or prizes, or succeed according to the worlds standards. But to love God, and love others, and be the best version of themselves they can be. No matter what they do. I think what you do can be less important than the way in which you do it. They may be doctors or garbage men (which is, it must be noted, Charlie's ambition), but whatever path they take in life, I think it is good to give your best, no matter the task. That whatever you do' you do well, 'pressing in toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called you' (Philippians 3:14).
I don't want my children to settle, and that means that right now, I need to make sure I don't settle for a little joy or peace or contentment. Right now I am kind of in the trenches, because I must work every day to help shape these children into the people they will become. But I need to remember that I really have to do the hard yards now. It's worth it, and it really does matter.