Beyond the World’s Standards
We tend to think that if a student is “meeting expectations” or “exceling” that we have done our job as parents and teachers. That somehow a student’s achievements are only measured with one question: what grade did they get? The truth is, rarely do we measure success in one dimension.
Success can look different in each home and for each student. While some of us may put character at the top of our lists, over the academic or athletic achievements, our tendency is often to hold onto the tangible, clear rewards like an A or a B or the sports team making Provincials. Our and our child’s striving and perfectionism may result in good marks but may also cost, in terms of anxiety, stress and sleep. We may want to encourage a different approach, focussing on good effort, while living a balanced lifestyle.
For some, getting high marks may not be attainable. However, grades are just one way to look at a person. What other ways can we see the beauty and the excellence that God has put in our children? We have all been designed and molded and shaped by God and have value and gifts for His Kingdom.
Whether students struggle with learning, are gifted learners or somewhere in between, the question we should focus on is: are they becoming like Christ? Are they learning to walk in love and to serve others? This is the true plumb line against which we will all be measured. Did we love and did we love well?
May we be challenged, as Christians, to view success from this perspective, what does it mean to successfully raise a child for 18 years in this culture? I think what speaks to me is that, in the end, a confident, strong person who has a desire to run the race as hard as they can emerges, not for rewards or medals, but out of a raw, passionate love for Jesus.
Truthfully, we all struggle, even those who may look successful. We all fall short and as pieces of broken clay, we all need God’s help in our lives. We can do nothing without Him. As we teach, as we parent, may we remember to pour in God’s wisdom and the love that will bear fruit and last eternally.