I envision a conversation I may have in the future with each of my kids. You know the one. “If your friends jumped off a cliff, would you do that, too?”
It’s coming. It might be sooner than later. Who knows what situation will bring the discussion on. Small or big. But the point of the discussion will be, do you have the courage to not do something even if everyone else is doing it?
And then I wonder? Am I modeling that same courage?
I love being in the middle of the crowd. Oh, to be sure, I’m not going to pick a crowd that is going to jump off cliffs or anything. In fact, I feel safest in a good crowd. But once I find a good crowd, I’m happy to stay firmly nestled in the middle. I don’t like making waves. I don’t like being different.
If you thought peer pressure was reserved for middle and high school, think again. Mommy pressure abounds. And it is rampant even (maybe more?) in the church. This can be especially difficult because there is often a spiritual tag added to it.
Do you have the courage to be you? The way God made you?
The courage to school your children differently than the majority of your friends.
The courage to hold to the parenting philosophy you believe is right and best for your family even if it is completely different from your best friend’s.
The courage to enroll your kids in the activities that fit them best and that meet your family’s values regardless of what your friend’s kids are involved in.
The courage to have and hold to your family values.
The courage to say ‘no’ to busy and ‘yes’ to family.
The courage to pursue your own family’s creative interests.
The courage to accept change.
The courage to spend your money on what you value, not what your friends value.
The courage to be gracious about people’s differing opinions even while holding firmly to your own.
The courage to admit that you might not handle the same busy schedule that others seem to do fine with.
The courage to keep out of the cultural rat race of materialism.
The courage to create and shape your family life in a unique way.
The courage to be your own person.
The courage to walk your own path. The path God has laid out for you.
It’s not about being different for the sake of being different. It’s about thinking about your values. Discerning what is good and right and best for your family. Seeking wisdom from God. And then having the courage to do it.
If we aren’t careful, it is easy to live and parent in a certain way simply because there is an understood norm in our particular community.
If we fail to articulate our own family’s values, we will find ourselves simply going with the crowd. And even if it is a good crowd (or a church crowd), it is not a healthy way to live.
As we move in and out of crowds or churches, our lives and parenting will fluctuate along with it, leaving our children confused at best.
Do you know what you value? Are you willing to do what is truly best for your family, even if it makes you stand out in your community? Do you have that kind of courage?
Let’s model a courageous spirit for our children.
Let’s have the courage to walk the individual path God has given us, however unique it might be.
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