Mommy Musings: The pursuit of success

As parents, very naturally (myself included), we tend to measure the success of our ability to pave a foundation towards a bright future for our children, by a few key performance indicators. 

Typically these include, their general behavioural development, the rate at which they achieve their physical milestones in the early years, and their academic achievements in the schooling years.

To be socially adept, in good physical health and possessing the necessary knowledge or skill sets to secure a good livelihood; are qualities viewed in societal norms as logical basic building blocks to an individual’s personal success and ability to stand on their own two feet.

However I was reminded yesterday in Proverbs 1:7-33, that the Bible measures success in a different way. 

To attain the goal of leading enriching lives and achieve enduring happiness, we are called to pursue – wisdom.  What kind of wisdom? And how does one take hold of it?  Breaking down the passage into four chunks…

  1. Wisdom starts in the heart – “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge…”
  2. Wisdom is encouraged in an environment of trust and obedience, in the family unit – “Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching. They will be a garland to grace your head and a chain to adorn your neck.”
  3. Wisdom will be tested on the street, let it be proven to be true and strong – “My son, if sinners entice you, do not give in to them. For their feet rush into sin, they are swift to shed blood. These men lie in wait for their own blood; they waylay only themselves. Such is the end of all who go after ill-gotten gain; it takes away the lives of those who get it.”
  4. Wisdom preserves the lives of those who seek it – “…whoever listens to me will live in safety and be at ease, without fear of harm.”

As a mother, I am filled with parental pride when the kids receive praise for good behaviour or promising potential in a particular activity or skill.   And of course, I feel I have accomplished something good when they eat well, and grow well.  🙂

But I am humbly reminded from this passage, that whilst these are noble and necessary yardsticks to aspire to, the overarching yardstick for DH and myself, and for our children to experience successful, i.e. disciplined, prudent and enriching lives, should be the pursuit and attainment of godly wisdom and a reverence for our God and Creator. 

For from this, when they spread their wings and leave the nest eventually, that they will be able to stand, not merely on their own two feet, but on Christ, the solid rock that stands – eternal, unfazed and unchallenged – in the face of all of life’s billows and storms.

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