This is a question I think about a lot, what do I owe Will and Eli? What do I need to provide for them?
A roof over their head, food in their belly and clothes on their back are the basics that every child deserves. So what do we owe our children beyond that? I believe as Christians we owe them a chance to know Jesus. We can’t force them to believe what we believe or to have faith in the same things we do but we certainly can make sure they know what we believe and why we believe it. We can let them know why we love Jesus and why we believe God loves us and pray they will come to realize how much God loves them.
I believe we owe them discipline, that is to say we need to teach them what is right and wrong. We teach them how to treat others with love and respect and what is means to contribute to society in a positive way. I believe these things will give them a chance to succeed as an adult.
It is so easy to get caught up in what society tells we owe our kids. We feel pressure to make sure our kids go on yearly Spring Break Trips, they get to go to Disney World at least once their lifetime, they get to play on all the travel teams for sports, they have their own bedroom, all the cool clothes, and we owe them college tuition. Not that all those things are bad but we don’t owe them to our children and we shouldn’t feel guilty if we can’t provide them to our children.
We let the world dictate so much of what we do as parents, their is so much parental peer/societal pressure put on us, all this pressure can drive us crazy. That pressure can also drive us to make stupid choices, I increasingly hear of parents who provide alcohol for their under age teens. I hear of parents who go broke trying to pay for extra-curriculars for their students or when they buy a third car for the family that they could really live without. Those are not wise choices and I am not sure why we make the choice to do so other than do to pressure.
So I think it is time for us to do inventory, what do we owe our kids. Food, shelter, clothes, a chance to know God and a chance to succeed as adults. What do you think? Did I miss anything? Do you agree or disagree?