One of the greatest joys in my life is the opportunities that I have to share experiences with my children that I didn't have in my childhood. It's the generational desire to "give them what we didn't have." It is a wonderful thing to be able to enjoy God's blessings, especially with your family. After all, that's what the hard work is for. However, the more I see the culture that my children are growing up in, the more I realize that there are certain things I experienced, and they need to know how it feels.
They need to know how it feels to compete and not get a trophy just because you played.
They need to know how it feels to work with your hands all day, and not expect to be given anything other than the satisfaction of getting the job done.
They need to know how it feels to wait for what they want and then work hard to get it. Then continue working even harder to keep it.
They need to know how it feels to show respect, for no other reason than it is the right thing to do.
They need to know how it feels to try your hardest and not succeed, so they can build the desire to try harder.
They need to know the sweat of exhaustion and the tears of defeat so they can appreciate days of rest and the taste of victory.
They need to know how it feels to have something to say and remaining silent, because the sound of silence is sometimes the wisest sound you can make.
They need to know when to speak up for truth and injustice, even if they have to do it alone.
They need to know how it feels to have the world against them and God for them so that they know what faith can do.
They need to know how it feels to submit themselves to what they need to do rather than do what they want to do.
For all that I want my children to enjoy in this life; it's also my responsibility to make sure they know how it feels to live this life to its fullest. They will remember the good times for the rest of their lives, but it will be the strength they gain through struggle that helps them appreciate how great those good times really are.