Sunday, February 19, 2012

The Hard Things

How do we impress upon our youth that life is hard?  How do we make them see that the relationships and things that are most precious in life, are worth the time, patience, cultivation, dedication and hard work?  I see a disturbing prevailing theme that makes me wonder if we've done them a great disservice.  Most seem to want what they want, when they want it.  They resent having to work for anything rewarding.

I have worked diligently to instill in my children a fortitude and self discipline that will help them realize their dreams without them waiting on those dreams to be handed to over on the proverbial silver platter.  I've done my best to teach them that when a goal seems hard, you don't just walk away and move on to something else.  The times in my life that I've "stuck it out" and looked back on what I've been through, make me feel proud, strong and blessed.  I want my children to know those feelings.

How have we come to the place that when a marriage gets hard, we just leave?  When a job gets tough, we get a new one?  When we can't afford a big home, we buy one anyway?  I fear we're seeing a generation who considers everything to be disposable when they get bored with it and every temptation indulged, because they know they won't stick around to suffer the consequences.  I know there are many who know the value of committment and hard work, but they are not who our children see touted in front of them as the ones to be like.  The people who are looked up to and emulated slip in and out of marriages at whim, indulge in drugs and alcohol to make life fun and easy, and spend money on lavish estravagent excesses.

My son getting his 2nd college degree.
We don't do our children any service when we just hand over things that they want.  It tends to make them shallow and self centered.  It says to them that they don't have to earn anything.  I often think about the Scripture that says, "God is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him."  Reward comes only after diligence. The true test of character is when one cares about someone or something enough to make them a priority even above their own comfort and pleasure.

I commend those parents who have taken the time to instill a good work ethic in their children; who have shown them that life can be hard, but so worth the effort.  I have hope that there are enough of the next generation who won't let themselves be sucked into empty lives in search of the next easy relationship or thing.  Let's raise up a generation who diligently seeks after God and the dreams He has placed in their hearts!

From His lap,




13 comments:

  1. I don't have any kids but I agree that there is a definite shift in our culture where younger people expect jobs to be fun (for example).

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  2. You're right, Bridget. "Fun" is the operative word. There is nothing wrong with having fun as long as we take care of our responsibilites too! Thank you so much for stopping by! I'm honored!
    Blessings,
    ~Erin

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  3. I see it in my students (I'm a 7th grade math teacher). It's harder to teach when they come in with the mindset of giving up when the work gets hard--and believe me, pre-algebra starts getting hard for them. It feels like there's not enough time to teach them lessons beyond the math curriculum, but I can try to put more effort into rewarding hard work and self-discipline. Thanks for that reminder! =)

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  4. That's a great challenge for those of us with little ones! I've noticed that trend and prayed about how to counter act that attitude. I tell my son I don't parent fair I do what's necessary for him to be a disciple and he willingly submits thankfully. It's easy to go with the flow and take the path of least resistance as a mom at times though and I know that his self discipline in the long run will mirror mine. Humbling thought!

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  5. So important to instill a good work ethic in our kids, indeed. I know my mom did that with me. In fact, my mom worked two jobs to take care of her three kids as a single mom. She taught us and demanded us to help around the house with cooking, cleaning, and yard work. I think those things really played a role in teaching us how to work hard, and honest. Now, this weekend I taught my six year old how to vacuum. She wanted that to be one of her chores for the week. So I showed her the ins and outs of the vacuum cleaner and how to vacuum like a pro! After just one room, she said, "wow, now I know how hard it is to be a mom!" I laughed and thought, just wait little one...just wait! Lol! :-)

    So good to see a post here from you. I've been missing your nuggets of truth. Hope your job has been a true blessing for you.

    Hugs and love,
    ~Rosann

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  6. Jenni,
    Thanks so much for stopping by! I'm honored that you visited here.
    Blessings,
    ~Erin

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  7. TJ,
    Middle school kids are the hardest to work with, but the most rewarding. It's almost as if they're deciding what kind of person they are going to be during those years. I know that you are a great influence on them. Thank you for the work that you do!
    Blessings,
    ~Erin

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  8. Beck,
    You're so right. Sometimes as a parent it's just easier & less conflict to give in and take the path of least resistance. It's parents like you who are raising up a standard for our next generation of kids who will understand the value of hard work!
    It's so good to hear from you!
    xo,
    Erin

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  9. Rosann,
    I'm glad to be back in my writing chair now! My new job is challenging and stretching me towards excellence.
    You are such a great mom & I know you are instilling Godly things in your kids that will set them on a path to fulfilling who they are meant to be in Christ!
    I love you, sister!
    ~Erin

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  10. Erin, this is so true! We've seen society's current climate affect our son, at the tender age of only five! We are actually transferring him from the preschool he's currently at to one that is more centered on the "whole child," and building values, character, and self-worth. We've just seen an attitude developing in him lately that is very worldly...and no matter how much we try to counteract it at home, when he gets to school he falls right back in with how everyone else acts. I don't remember it being like this when I was young. And at the tender age of five...he's already focusing on material things.

    We are hoping that we can help him to refocus on what really matters and teach him the value of persistence and hard work. It's a shame that we live in such a "throw-away" culture. Life is hard, and faith is hard, and if we give up on things when the going gets rough, our faith will never be strong enough to hold us through when it really matters.

    I feel like this is sort of a rambling comment. Sorry...it's really late over here and I wanted to comment and say hi and let you know that I'm still with you, and that I'm happy to be reading you again! :-) Things have been rather stressful over here with trying to get my son moved, but, you know, the more I see the way people act these days, the more I understand why people home school their children. Society is a difficult force to fight. Wish us luck as we try to steer our boy in the right direction!

    Blessings and Hugs, Jenn

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Thank you for giving us a little nugget of truth from your heart!

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