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I’m finishing my commitment to you on the TEDx experience and its thought provoking power over me.  Though taking much longer than I wanted, I feel the discussion is still worth having.

Parenting isn’t as much about my kids as it is about me!  Let me say it this way – parenting is about raising kids that know Christ passionately and have enough self-discipline and character to act on that passion to influence their careers, community and family of their own.  That product then becomes a reflection of my self-discipline, passion and influence.  And when you see it as a reflection of self, parenting becomes the greatest challenge your ego will ever face.  Those are hard words to swallow, because what I am really saying is that quite often my ego is in the way. 

It is a very subtle slip in my mind from teaching character to protecting my reputation!  Now that is a bundle of truth. 

Teaching character is very hard for a number of reasons:

1)      It’s not trendy

2)      You can’t teach what you don’t possess

  • In fact, you are more likely to see what character you lack!

3)        It requires a sacrifice on my part to allow character to be developed.

  • A sacrifice of time
  • of reputation
  • of personal priorities

It seems relatively simple for me to define what character is important – but sometimes the character gets lost in the everyday work and if we are not watching, the culture can redefine that character for us. 

For example – The Tedx Experience is spot on in saying that we can no longer live for only our gain.  We must turn our gifts, inspirations, and skills to innovation that is geared toward others and their well-being.  I LOVE IT!  (Sounds a lot like this Jewish Rabbi that spoke to the populous 2,000 years ago)

But the subtlety of teaching that came through underneath the topics of a number of speakers, was that making a profit and having wealth are wrong.  How you might ask?  By putting a premise out there that all peoples should be and are entitled to be on an equal playing field. 

It is not an equal field that spurs us on to do more, to buckle down and make difficult decisions.  In effect to have and display character.  We rise and aspire to be like the people that overcome formidable circumstances (the unequal field).  Our Heroes are the ones who allowed God to produce character in them (whether they acknowledge God or not)

Equal does not = Excellence!

In Philippians 1:10 (Amplified) it says this:

So that you may surely learn to sense what is vital, and approve and prize what is excellent and of real value (recognizing the highest and the best, and distinguishing the moral differences) and that you may be untainted and pure and unerring and blameless (so that with hearts sincere and certain and unsullied you may approach) the day of Christ (not stumbling or causing others to stumble).

You see, the Bible doesn’t teach us how to teach in the face of changing culture.  You know why?  Because character is character no matter when you were born or in what nation you were born.  The Bible is truth and truth is not relative. 

What changes is how we teach our children to apply their character and to sense what is vital in their lives so that they may approve and prize what is excellent and of real value!

So, do you want the secret to parenting in our changing cultures?  Read Philippians 1:9. And tell me what you come up with…..

© Cheryl Meakins

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