Monday, November 8, 2010

Men’s Rewards or God’s Pleasure

The photo of this scrapbook page was taken in September 2006.

This afternoon, Ken and I were confronted with how to train our children to accept failure and disappointment, without placing ourselves above other parental ways. We even asked each other what was the best way to train Godly character in our children.

Ken and the four oldest children participated in the Pinewood Derby in our church today. Our two youngest children, ages 7 and 5 were disappointed that they didn’t win the speed contest against their age groups. As we tried to encourage our two youngest of their effort, we began to also notice that many of those vehicles may not have been made by the children themselves, and we began to
wonder if there was much child involvement in developing the vehicles before the event this afternoon. Joshua told us that one child admitted the parent made all of it, and he was not present for any of the car making. Caleb even told us he wanted Ken to make one for him next time. In the meantime, we encouraged our children to enjoy themselves and not to focus on trophies, but we saw that it was difficult for them to handle the disappointment.

On our way home, we explained that we were proud of their car designs. We reminisced over this past week when Ken and the children excitingly picked out their paint at Wal-mart, they even spent some time drawing the cut-out of their vehicles, and sanding and painting together. It was a worth-while family event that each one had enjoyed. When Joshua pointed out to everyone in the van again that some of the vehicles there were made by the adults, Ken had to explain that he would not trade the fun in all the building with his children for many trophies. He then asked the children if they had fun this week, and each one agreed they enjoyed making the cars themselves.

We are not to judge the motives and effort of other parents, nor do we want our children to be bitter of other children’s awards. The most important life lesson today is that we want our children to give the Lord glory in all things, whether they win, lose, or even forfeit. (I Thessalonians 5:16-18, “ Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” ) We want them to learn to rejoice with others when they win, and be gracious to those that lose when we win. Their effort may not be noticed with flashy trophies or ribbons by men, but God sees their effort and He is always proud of their endeavors. In Matthew 6, Jesus speaks of prayer and fasting done in secret will be rewarded, but it is important our children learn from an early age not to perform for men, but to do everything to glorify God and to please Him. (Colossians 3:23, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.”) I know they will have many more opportunities where they will be confronted with desiring the rewards of men. Therefore, I will be praying that Ken and I will not tire in cultivating Godly character into their lives.

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