Why I don’t want my kids to be successful

I turned on the TV for a couple minutes last night to see Bear Grylls and Nick Jonas try to conquer a mountain. Nick gets a rat put down his pants. I let my kid play Marvel Lego Superheroes on the TV at this point.

But not before Bear and Nick had a conversation. Bear gave Nick a great chance. He opened the door for him to talk about his faith. And purity rings, etc. I don’t know where Nick Jonas is. But I know where he came from and his “I’ve developed my own worldview from back then” was to me deeply saddening. Not because I dislike Mr. Jonas. But I happen to be among those who believe in his parent’s worldview. And I’m not really sure what Nick Jonas’s worldview is.

By all outward signs, Nick Jonas is successful. But if that’s what success is, I’m not sure I want my kids to be successful.

I don’t want them to play pro ball of any kind. The pressure, the public adulation, the hubris.

I don’t want them to start an internet start up and make millions in their early 20ies. The decisions, the worldview at that age.

If success means abandoning the faith, I don’t want my kids to succeed. I have no control over whether my children choose to remain in the faith as they grow. Each person’s faith is ultimately individual. But my goals and aspirations for them, that I can control.

If success means learning that money is more important than people, I don’t want my kids to succeed.

Power, prestige, influence. In the right time and place, with the right character foundation, these are still dangerous.

What I want is for my kids to be deeply committed to Jesus. To their faith. The one they embraced willingly. The faith that connects them to generations of believers who have given over pursuing success to pursue eternity. That’s something I want to invest into them, because I believe their success hinges on it.

But ultimately, what I want is only part of the equation. They will define success on their terms as well. As a parent though, my definition of success is something that I must realize I pass along as well.

Success for me is remaining in the faith.

Success is being a person of moral character and integrity

Success is healthy interpersonal relationships

Success is a growing self knowledge and understanding.

Financial skills, my kids need those. Fame, not so much. Empowerment for living a full life, absolutely.

I wish the best to Nick Jonas. I hope things turn out well for him with all the decisions he is making as his own man. I respect him for making his own decisions, don’t get me wrong. We don’t need a world of automatons. AND

If my children walk away from my faith, I’ll still love them. Desperately.  They are mine. I will always be proud of them. They may be successful.

But in my worldview, I won’t be.


IMG credit: http://img2.timeinc.net/people/i/2016/news/160704/nick-jonas-320.jpg




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