Not Unredeemed

… living the beautiful tension between what is, and what will be …


My Child is a Winner ?

“My child’s a winner! He needs to win at these games!” Shifting uncomfortably from foot to foot I tried again to explain how our carnival games were set up. There’s always one parent that is hard to please, or finds fault with how things are run and after doing this kind of ministry for a few years I’ve learned to take things into consideration and then let them roll off my back. But this parent was insistent, there was nothing I could do or say to reason with her. Her child was a winner and he needed to win at every one of my carnival games.

I was shocked again at how entitlement based our society is! Despite the fact that all of the games where free and children still got prizes, what bothered me was how short sited this parent was.

The child IS a winner, in his worth and value – this youngster is a winner all around. He is not a winner in performance at horseshoes and that is ok. Taking the competition out of life, and/or dumb-ing things down is never a good idea in the long run. Life is hard. Call me a realist but it is. Parents can only create an atmosphere of perfection for their children for so long until life happens. Never allowing a child to lose is ensuring that in life they will lose someday. <— Tweet This! Creating a situation for children to win outside of their ability – is not helping them win but handicapping them.

Loosing is ok. Disappointment happens, its how we handle it that counts. When parents, teachers, and leaders fly in and buzz around like a helicopter to the rescue, we are teaching kids three things.

(1). Their worth is based in whether or not they win.

(2). They are not responsible for their actions – there is no consequences.

(3). Failure is always a bad thing – rather than an opportunity for growth.

Identity and worth do not come from what we do – but whose we are.  Win loosest that child is yours and needs to feel an unconditional love – and with that love a safe place to fail. For it is when we fail that we grow!  Failure teaches us about love, pride, worth, grace, humility and respect.

Shielding a child from what they are not good at – keeps them from finding out what they are good at. Loosing at horseshoes means that tossing isn’t their thing – but batting might be! It’s all about HOW loosing is handled. Not that you lose.

When we come to a child’s rescue all the time, (granted it’s important to at times to teach grace!) we don’t teach them about logic and consequences (You reap what you sow).  Without teaching that failure and loss is ok – where will children be in 15 years? Bitter and angry that the world isn’t about them? Or well adjust and learning as they go?

 A winner now doesn’t mean a winner later. It’s never just a game – it’s a worldview.


Boys and Pink Toe Nails

This post was originally publish in April 2011 – but it is even more true now than it was then!

This past week J. Crew released an ad picturing a mom painting her son’s toenails a bright pink.  The caption with the picture read “Lucky for me, I ended up with a boy whose favorite color is pink. Toenail painting is way more fun in neon.”  Is it way more fun though? Many people are asking what the big deal is. So a mom decides to paint her son’s toenails. If the little guy wants pink toenails what’s the harm? What sister out there hasn’t convinced her little brother to hold still long enough to practice on his nails or hair? It’s all innocent fun and advertising.

Or is it? A picture paints a thousand words and what can be easily written off as a person’s creative choice often heralds a much deeper sentiment and meaning. The controversy surrounding this ad simply brought to the forefront the ongoing confusion in our culture regarding gender and gender roles. Is it a sin to paint a boy’s toenails pink? In and of its self I don’t think so.
But when we look at the whole picture there is a lot wrong with it. Our culture is bent on making everything gender neutral, from the clothes we wear to the jobs we hold and the people we marry.  The world screams – “defy all odds – be anything you want to be – be the unique you!” Well that’s great until we have a whole generation of people trying to be different and unique – in the end they are all the same.

We all want equality and uniqueness.  Isn’t that how the Lord created us? Uniquely and at the same time equal in value as male and female?  Sin has distorted and abused that uniqueness, but it is still beautiful. We are trying to fight and at the same time recreate the very thing we already are! Why are we trying so hard to blur those lines? Continue reading