I’m sure when you read the title of this post you immediately came to the conclusion that I am the MEANEST mother on the planet. I’m sure given the right day, at the right time, my children would agree with you! HOWEVER, this post was inspired by a sweet mamma of three, who wrote an absolutely heartbreaking post on Facebook about how defeated her nine year old son felt over not receiving a game ball.
See, I have been that mamma. I have been that mamma more often than I have been the mamma of the game ball recipient. Many of my son’s friends have started creating extra space in their house for their collections of trophies, medals, game balls, home run balls…. but not us. No. We have three. Three. And two of those three came from this year alone. And we are perfectly fine with that.
In 2 Corinthians 12: 9-10 we read “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
In my son’s first year of little league (nine years old) there were tears after almost every practice and game. He was frustrated. Felt totally defeated and like he wasn’t good enough. In fact, his first year he went an entire season not having a hit until the very last game. It was horrible. It was failure. And I am so grateful for it.
My husband and I have worked to instill in each of our children that life isn’t always going to be easy and you certainly can’t always win. Sometimes you will do everything right….but still fail. And that is OKAY. By providing children with a safe place to try and try again, they learn some of life’s best lessons.
- A “CAN DO” ATTITUDE
“I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13
Failure teaches us that when we rely on Christ, we can do anything. It does not mean we will win or be the star — but we CAN DO.
“More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” Romans 5:3-5
Failure teaches us to keep pushing and trying and to HOPE. That endurance is what I hope that each of my children have as adults. Life gets hard. REAL hard… we have to endure the failure to appreciate the success.
“Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap.” Galatians 6:7
Knowing that we will sometimes fail is not a license to not care. We must practice and try and study! We reap what we sow so you better show up and work hard!
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6
Failure allows God to teach us lessons like TRUST and LOVE. Once we figure out that God’s way is the best way, we allow him to mold us and to shape us.
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11
One might argue that children learn confidence through success and success alone, not failure. However, it is when we follow the dream and belief that God has laid on our heart that we can see Him work in our life. When we allow our belief and dreams to be bigger than our fear of failure, we can follow the path for the plan God has for us.
I don’t know about you, but I want my children to learn these lessons. Just like you, I want my children to find success and worth from inside their heart — not because of something in life. I don’t want anyone to fail all of the time. We need to provide opportunities for children to thrive and experience success. At the same time, we can’t be afraid of letting them fail in safe ways.
In four years, our finale Little League season has been one of great growth from that first year. But we still have a lot of failures ahead of us…. What lessons have failure taught you that you can share with your children?