“Everybody thinks their kids are above average. But it can’t possibly be that way because it defies the category of average.” So says Randy Stinson, professor, author, and father of eight. It’s a needed corrective in our day of hyper-parenting, but no reason to set low expectations for your offspring.
I didn’t always feel that way about his observation. I tell the story of my change of heart in “Most of Our Children are Average.” Here’s a snippet:
Just because our kids are average, he says, “doesn’t mean they’re mediocre, or that they need to live a life of mediocrity. It just means we don’t need to bloat their ego or increase their narcissism.”
How then should we parent? How do we encourage our children to be good stewards, to work hard and to do their best in a way that’s not ego-centric? Paul tells us in Colossians 3:17, 23-24,
And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. . . . Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.
We must shift their focus from themselves to God and shift their motivation from self-glory to God’s glory. If your children have an interest or talent that sets them apart from their peers, thank God for it. And teach your children to do the same. Then encourage them to develop that skill to serve others. Everything they have is from the Lord. Nothing is theirs by their own doing. They (and you) have no reason to boast (1 Cor. 4:7). In fact, the expectation is higher, not for greater success, but for more faithful stewardship. To whom much is given, much will be required (Luke 12:48).
Read the full article at ERLC.com.