I feel for kids today, but not why you might think.
I feel for them because often the goal as parents is to keep them from pain and failure.
We forget though. We forget that kids who grow up constantly told to "be careful! That will hurt!" eventually stop trying and seek whatever will not hurt.
As a parent, I want to protect my kids from terrible things that will cause them pain, but in conflict with that is the desire for them to work hard and be willing to go through pain to achieve something great.
I want them to know that every single thing good in life will have pain with it- it's just part of life. Good things don't come to those who avoid hard work and pain though unfortunately. Every good relationship is willing to weather the storms that come their way. True love does not give up just because it gets hard. Determination does not either!
I want them to be willing to scrape their knees in order to learn something new- to learn how to fly!
To be willing to risk their reputation for the sake of befriending someone different who needs love.
I want our kids to learn the beauty of giving and sacrificing even when there is nothing in it for them. I want them to learn that counting the cost only brings heartache at what was lost, and the inability to see the value in what was gained.
I want our kids to learn to have eyes that see the needs of others, and hands and feet that seek to meet those needs, even if it's not convenient.
It's interesting that each generation holds onto wanting to make our kids' lives better than previous generations had it. It makes sense. I mean, we gain wisdom and knowledge through so many outlets, but I think sometimes it's easy to lose a lot too. We don't teach gratefulness by handing it to them. Gratefulness comes from having less and appreciating it more. We don't teach hard work ethic by preventing pain and grumbling in giving a lighter load. We don't teach sacrifice just by talking about it, but by having them go through the pain of giving what is beloved to someone who is in need.
Maybe instead of worrying about what we can give our kids, we should be more focused on what we can teach them. Flying isn't going to look very appealing if we aren't ever given that little push and learn how to! Maybe instead of giving them the world we should strive to shape their hearts and give them a sense of compassion and love that will go so much farther. Maybe we should challenge a little more than we give and trust that you know what, the pain is so worth it! Pain produces compassion. Learning to value something through hard work teaches gratefulness. Above all though, love. Love that says that it's ok if others matter more. After all, that is the essence of what Jesus wanted.
It's ok if they fall! Take heart and trust that they will get their wings through it!