When I was reading Sacred Parenting a few weeks ago I literally stopped in my tracks (I was listening to the audiobook) when I heard this line:
What do I value for my children; comfort or character?
Every night I pray with my children I usually ask for some variation of protection for their safety and lately I’ve been feeling convicted about it every time the words are out of my mouth.
I think it is completely natural for us as parents to want our kids to be safe, but Christ didn’t call us to lead a life of safety.
Obviously I’m not talking about throwing all caution into the wind here, we do need to take precautions to keep our children safe but that doesn’t mean that our whole lives need to be dictated by fear of the unknown and potential threats.
One of my biggest fears in my spiritual life is getting comfortable. I’m a homebody with wanderlust but staying at home is a lot easier (and cheaper!) than getting out into the world and that part of me so often wins out.
I don’t want a safe, comfortable life for myself or my children because it is in trials and persecution that character and perseverance are formed.
It is not in the still calm of life, or the repose of a pacific station, that great characters are formed. The habits of a vigorous mind are formed in contending with difficulties. Great necessities call out great virtues. When a mind is raised, and animated by scenes that engage the heart, then those qualities which would otherwise lay dormant, wake into life and form the character of the hero and the statesman.
– Abigail Adams
I don’t want to get the end of my life realizing I’ve lived comfortably, or raised comfortable children, content with a safe life. I want to choose the harder path, the messy one, the one that means letting others in and I want to teach my children to do the same.
For the sake of the kingdom we need to despise apathy more than we fear failure.
– Sacred Parenting
Sometimes God calls us to live a life of radical abandon in the place where we were born and other times He calls us away from everything familiar into a life of unknown. But no matter where it is He calls us to He always calls us to be set apart, to sacrifice and live a life that chooses character over comfort.
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
– James 1:2-4
Now, instead of safety I am asking God to lead my children down the path He has for them and that He will start preparing them now for the work He has in store for them, and I’m praying the same for myself.
How do you pray for your children? And how to do you make sure you aren’t choosing a life of comfort over character (for you or your kids)?
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