If you haven't read the post "I Don't Want My Children To Be Happy" on the blog It's Almost Naptime, you must go immediately and read it now. Seriously. Now. I'll Wait.
Okay, now that you're back...wasn't that AMAZING!! All I can say is AMEN!!!
First off, if I won the lottery tomorrow, I'm not paying for my children's college education. Period. End of story. Not happening. I plan to equip them to be successful in whatever path they choose...including by teaching them to pay for it themselves!
I also will not be doing any of the following:
Buying my children a car.
Paying for their car insurance, registration, etc.
Bailing them out if they get in financial trouble.
Buying my children an XBOX or ________ (insert latest ridiculously expensive, mind-deadening, behavior-altering trendy toy here).
Buying them $200 sneakers or $100 designer jeans.
Giving them an allowance. (GASP! Yes, they will have to EARN their money.)
Why? Because I don't want my children to be happy. I was not put on this earth to be their buddy, nor their financial benefactor. I was put here to be their MOTHER.
As their mother, it is my job to raise them up to be responsible, kind, honest, hard working, loving adults. I don't want to teach them, by handing them everything they want, that the world is their plaything, and that people are nothing more than a vehicle for them to attain what they need.
Like Mis, I don't want my children to be happy, but rather to be content. I want them to be content with what they already have. To be grateful for what God has given them. Yes, they may choose to work towards more in life, but they should be content that, should they not attain their goal (or should its attainment be delayed) that they can live fulfilled lives without it.
In particular, I want my children to find contentment not in their salary, their home, their grown up "toys", but in a glorious sunset, a blossom-scented spring breeze, a cozy night in with their family, and in those quiet moments that God reveals Himself to them.
Most important, I want my children to be holy...Mis took the words right out of my mouth. I want my children not to be momentarily sated by having their every whim catered to, but to be content because their hearts are pure and full of love for God and for their fellow man. I want them to be living examples of the generosity of God, to never offend Him, but rather always be pleasing to Him.
I want them to try to always be kind, especially to each other. To minister to those in need. To try to overlook the faults of those who judge and condemn them, because, being faithful children of God, there will be many who do. To forgive those who have wronged them. To be willing to make sacrifices for those they love.
I know these concepts are foreign to some people...those who believe that life is about acquiring stuff and indulging your every desire. To them, they will consider my refusal to shower my children with their every want and need to be nothing short of child abuse. They will also likely consider my having 6 children to be child abuse, as having "so many" children will hamper my ability to spoil any one child completely rotten. But how can I explain beauty to someone who chooses to see only ugliness?
They'll never know the joy of seeing all your children dote on the newest member of the family, or watching each child trip over themselves to volunteer to pitch in and help out. My children are loving and generous with each other most of the time, and frequently share. They are almost never jealous of each other. I am blessed to see this every day, because I am not blind to the beauty of a large family.
Who your children are today is also who they will be tomorrow.