Christianity and the Family Calendar
Anna is now in kindergarten and it is definitely changing our lives. There is a pressure to get kids started early in gifted and talented programs, dance lessons and sports teams. I wonder what we hope our kids will be like in twenty years. I believe the Christian parents need to think this through on a deeper level. If Christianity is true, then it should guide what we encourage our children to invest their time in. If a person was to look at your family calendar, what would they see is important to your family?
I am saddened by how much energy families put into their children being involved in sports especially at a young age. Less than 2% of all basketball and football athletes go pro yet we push our kids so hard to be one of these 2%. Do we really want them to become like our sports stars who fall apart after they retire because their whole identity is wrapped up in sports? We only have a few years to invest in our kids yet so family meals are missed because we are driving our kids to all their practices.
I am also saddened by the intensity that some parents invest in their children educationally. I see this in junior high and high school students far too often. They are under so much stress to get good grades so they can get into the right college and then get the right job. What are we telling our kids by the focus we put on education? We are telling them that the right job will bring them happiness and success. Yet how many people have you met with a great job who are not content? As a 5th grade kid, my life was changed when I traveled to Kenya with my family and saw people who didn’t have much yet were content. So why do we push our kids to get straight A’s and meanwhile they miss out on being a kid and developing quality relationships with their peers?
If we truly believe in the core beliefs of Christianity and trust what Jesus said is true, then success on the sports field, in the classroom and in the workplace should not be the goal for our children. If Christianity is true, then our energy should go into investing in our children spiritually. This is the only thing that can truly bring contentment to our children throughout their lives. If we push our kids to excel in sports and education, then what we are really telling them is that success is the ultimate goal. What happens when they achieve success there and it doesn’t satisfy them?
Let’s start putting into practice what we believe. If you believe in the claims of Jesus Christ, then start to schedule your family life like it is the most important thing on your calendar. We need to do everything we do with excellence but we also need to set priorities as a family. We show our kids what is important by how we schedule our lives.