It’s really popular right now to be raising super trendy kids. Or maybe it’s always been popular, but I’m just now at that phase of parenting. For boys, that means putting them in skinny jeans, checkered shoes, and giving them a bit of a faux hawk. I’m not as up-to-date on the little girl culture, but I’m guessing it involves leggings and belts.
There’s nothing wrong with having fashionable and even trendy kids, of course. I’d even be lying if I said Bug doesn’t have a pair of semi-skinny boy jeans himself. But lately I’ve been wondering what my kids are going to be like when they get to Jr. High and High School. Are they going to be jocks? Class clowns? On student council?
Or…[dun, dun, dun] will they be nerds? Will they be the kids who eats their boogers [oh geez, I hope Bug grows out of that grossness by then!], who snort when they laugh at the teacher’s jokes, and whose noses are always in books?
I think the older my kids get, the less I care about their station in society. The more I submit my parenting to God, the more I’m able to look at their growth and childhood through the long-term eyes of adulthood. And that changes my priorities.
Quite a bit, in fact.
It’s suddenly not important that my sons have the character backpack. And when they get older, it won’t matter that they have the right brand of sneakers or tickets to whatever band Disney has shoddily put together by that point. Their haircut, attendance at birthday parties, and ability to be sweet and charming become things that just don’t matter.
Not in light of who God is creating them to be, anyway. Not when I realize that I have a huge part in making men.
I don’t care if I make men who know that you can mix black and brown. I could not give two hoots about making men who make the varsity football team, have pretty prom dates, and more friends than they can count.
I don’t even care about making men who are inducted into the national honor society, lead worship in youth group, or are voted, “Best Personality.”
My goals for the men I’m making are a little different.
I pray to raise men who love God and work daily to submit their wills to His. I pray my little men see the people around them as God sees them, and see women as images of God to be protected and cherished – not exploited. I pray my men work hard at the things before them – not for their own pride or adulations – because it’s what God has called them to. I hope the men I’m raising have confidence that their identity comes from God. Not from grades, not from athletics, not from looks, not from friends, not from girlfriends, not from church, not from possessions, not from popularity.
From God. And from Him alone.
And if that means they’re considered nerds, then I’m cool with that.
Since this is a lesson I’m still learning myself, I don’t expect that raising these little men will be easy. Luckily, I have Someone on my side who cares more about these boys than I’m even capable of. Something tells me he doesn’t care whether they’re nerds or not, either. I thank God that His plans and goals for them are much, much higher.