As I slowly transition my thinking about student ministry from a silo model (everyone in their own little place) to a more family oriented place one of my greatest fears is that I am feeding over-parenting and students that can’t seem to grow up. I saw quote today from Christ and Pop Culture and it really stood out to me.
To feel good enough, both parents and children are under pressure to perform, and to be really happy about it. The more dangerous pressure for children comes from being idolized. Imagine the pressure of being the center of someone else’s universe, the definition of their self-worth, and the source of their ultimate happiness. That’s not what children are supposed to be and do. That’s not a burden anyone but God can bear, and even to allow God to fulfill in His own job description requires self-submission (such a dirty word these days), not self-aggrandizement. Biblical self-esteem is actually the opposite of secular self-esteem, and the results are different, too. The world directs inward, toward self and personal happiness and human recognition, while God pushes us outward, toward service and sacrifice and the incomprehensible joy of submission.
I know as a dad it is so easy to turn my children into an idol, to focus more on them and their happiness than anything else. Finding ways to continually point your children towards God and reminding them that they are not the center of the world, but He is should be one of the most important jobs we as parents tackle.