I want to preface this article by saying that I am honored to be an adopted American, and perhaps even more so an adopted Texan. We have similar issues back home in England, unsurprisingly we just don’t refer to it as the American dream.
This article follows on from our post yesterday.
The American Dream – it sounds so grand doesn’t it? You often hear of people moving from countries offering them little chance of success and stability to pursue this dream. You hear about it on movies and TV – of people on a noble pursuit of what America offers.
My take, as an outsider, on the American dream is that anything is possible if you work for it. These are great morals, in fact my dad often would say something similar. The values of hard work and perseverance are good ones for our kids to cling to, because they will need it. My problem is – where does the gospel fit? Now I don’t mean that as if to say the two are incompatible. But, I believe there is a real danger for us to become so driven by what we feel is something good for our kids that we actually miss the big picture. A good college education, good health, a steady career, to be good at a sport, to be of good character etc. All of these are noble pursuits, but we have to make sure that they are more than that. Jana Magruder in Kids Ministry That Nourishes says:
I can teach my kids about morals and values, but that is not the silver bullet for heart transformation. Again, it is about raising kids who love Jesus.
Parents, you aren’t in control of if your child can achieve success in every possible field. To be a good athlete, scholar, healthy, charitable and of good character. So, work on something that matters – their heart for God and His plans for their life. You want what’s best for your child – and sometimes we can get misguided and put other things before their relationship with Him. Encourage them to play sports, to study hard, to give sacrificially and to take their health seriously – but all of that must come second to placing their trust in Jesus Christ.
The American Dream can leave a legacy that lasts until this Earth is done, but how much greater a legacy can your child leave in the Kingdom of God?
– Jared Simpson