Wednesday, April 11, 2012

winning and losing

Barnabas Piper on fairness ...

One of my primary responsibilities as a parent is to prepare my children for all of life, not just what I want their life to hold. Of course, I never want my children to fail, but they will fail. I do not want them to experience disappointment, but it is unavoidable. They will not always be winners and will thus be forced to deal with the struggles of losing. If all I have taught them is that they are winners, what have I really prepared them for besides delusions of ease and grandeur?

Winning and losing are a part of life. And so are the accompanying rewards and struggles. Sadly, the contests are often not fair, making those struggles even more poignant. What am I to do as a parent? I cannot stick my head in the sand and my daughters’ along with it.

Winning and losing are real, so I must model being a humble and gracious winner and loser, no matter whether the circumstances are fair or not. My children need a definition of “fair” that motivates them to work hard and develop the gifts God has given them, not one that teaches them to expect praise and prizes at every turn. Most importantly, I must show them and teach them what it means to find value not in victory but in being a reflection of the Creator.

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