- Lauren Dungy
- Shaunti Feldhahn
- Tim and Darcy Kimmel
- Betsy Landers
- Dr. Walt Larimore
- Mark Merrill
- Joanne Miller
- Dr. Gary J. Oliver
- Kathy Peel
- Dr. Greg Smalley
- Dr. Scott Turansky
- Jill Savage
Articles by Tim and Darcy Kimmel
- To See or Not To See?
- Three Core Needs That Drive Every Child's Heart
- The Success Illusion
- The Gift of Attention Deficit Disorder
- The Foundation for a Secure Love
- Ten Ways to Be a Great Member of the Family
- Success or Greatness? (Part 1)
- Success or Greatness? (Part 2)
- Sleepover Syndrome
- Raising Kids Right
- Raging Hormones - Helping and Understanding Your Child
- How Would You Define Love?
- How to Teach Your Children Life Isn't Fair
- Grace and Achieving Children
- Consequences - Let Your Child Learn
- Are You Overbooked and Overwhelmed?
- Are You Happy?
- A Secure Love
- 5 Simple Ways to Control Your Temper
Tim and Darcy KimmelDr. Tim Kimmel has reached millions of parents with his message of building strong families. read bio
Success or Greatness? (Part 1)
What is your goal when it comes to raising your children? If you’re like most parents, the word success is somewhere in your answer. We all want the very best for our children. And to be fair, there is a sense of success that is a legitimate parenting goal, if we’re defining success as our children doing something productive with their talents and skills that enables them to be independent, happy adults.
The problem is that most parents don’t stop there. They add wealth, power, beauty, and fame to their definition. The telltale sign that these goals have a vise grip on a parent’s view of success is the heavy emphasis they place on their kids’ getting stellar grades, being connected to the influential kids in school, getting onto winning teams, racking up strong athletic statistics, being the chosen leaders of their various endeavors, and investing often and heavily in current fashion. These are the priorities that plant the seeds of success---the wealth, power, beauty, and fame kind---into the soil of their kids’ souls.
But is that enough? Is that all we want our children to be--merely successful? A person can be successful without coming close to being truly great. And wouldn’t we all rather aim our children toward true greatness? There isn’t anything inherently wrong with getting a good education, making a nice living, and being well known. These things are fine additions to an adult life--but they shouldn’t be the primary goals we set for our children. That’s because man-made success has little to do with true greatness. If we’re aiming our children at success, we’re aiming far too low.
Success looks inward; true greatness looks upward, then outward.
Success is about my agenda; true greatness is about God’s agenda.
Success accommodates selfishness; true greatness celebrates altruism.
Success is about receiving; true greatness is about giving.
Success worships what it sees in a mirror; true greatness grieves over what it sees through its windows.
Success pays off for now; true greatness pays off forever.
God has much bigger and better plans for our children than merely indulging them. God’s goals for our children often run counter to the default mode of the human heart. That’s why God has put parents into the equation. We offer the best means to help our children make true greatness the ultimate goal of their lives.
I can think of three compelling reasons to avoid the trap of aiming your kids toward a life of success.
First, they never get to have the significant impact that God intended for them. God has gifted them and wants to use their experiences and relationships to do something that is beyond quantification. They may still have prestigious careers, but they’ll carry out their work for a much better reason than what’s in it for them.
Second, the pursuit of man-made success often brings out the worst in both parents and children. Many kids who are aimed at success struggle with antagonism or indifference toward their parents’ dreams for them.
The third reason you want to avoid the success trap is that you really undermine the chance for your kids to gain the kind of wealth and extravagance God intended for them to enjoy…in heaven.
Truly great people seldom simply happen; they are carefully groomed for the moment long before they are forced to face it. Long before they get to the challenges, so many of them have lived within the proving grounds of a family that inspired them to true greatness. If we’re going to invest twenty years of our lives and spend tons of money preparing our kids for the future, why not prepare them for a life that dwarfs the goals of those who are merely successful? The successful come, achieve, and then leave. The truly great touch people’s lives in such a way that their impact lasts forever. Why not groom our children for true greatness?
Used with permission from the book, Raising Kids for True Greatness, by Dr. Tim Kimmel (W Publishing Group).