As a mother of two precious boys, I’ve been fairly successful at keeping them contained in an organic-antibacterial-padded-and-safety-locked bubble. Oh, how I love that bubble! I’d keep them there forever if I could. But as they grow and we are called out from the comfort of our home, I’m realizing that not everywhere has been baby-proofed. The world is a cruel place, and my first instinct is to protect them from every hardship. However, I must remember that part of them maturing into the men God wants them to be will require me stepping back and them experiencing bits of society’s harshness. This isn’t something our plush American culture wants to do.
As Americans, many of us have the luxury of being able to provide the moon to our children, and we believe that since we can achieve full-on comfort, that we are expressing love when we provide it. Being able to manipulate life experiences in the name of sheltering them from failure or discomfort is all too common. Excuse all the sports references that are to come—as the daughter of a high school coach, sister of a college coach, and wife of a retired professional player, the examples will surely be inevitable and frequent. Point of the matter: not only do we protect our kids from the disappointment of not making the team (because we provide a zillion different teams), now everyone gets a trophy, and we demand everyone gets equal play time. All the old ballplayers in my life are passionate about what sports teach youngsters, and this provision of pseudo-success is not teaching them anything but hindering their ability to learn and grow.
I love my children and I want to give them the world–but more than anything, I want them to learn of and lean on the Creator of this world. Our success is not a benchmark in relation to our destination in eternity. Rather, loving God and loving others is how we should focus our time…not keeping up with the Jones’. The trophies will fade. The accomplishments of man will be forgotten and/or surpassed. As my church preached recently, 3 things remain forever: the souls of man, the Word of God, and the Holy Spirit (Psalm 119:160).
If we may shelter our babies from anything, may it be the ugliness of our sinful society, not life’s discomfort. As children of The Almighty, we are not of this world—therefore we should never be comfortable in it. We learn from our disappointments, because we lean on Christ (Romans 5:3-4). We are honored through persecution because of the cross (John 16:33). We rejoice in our sorrow, because Heaven’s Darling comforts us (Matthew 5:4). Thanks be to God.
- All your words are true;all your righteous laws are eternal. Psalm 119:160
- And not only that, but we also rejoice in our afflictions, because we know that affliction produces endurance, endurance produces proven character, and proven character produces hope. Romans 5:3-4
- “I [Jesus] have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
- Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Matthew 5:4