Nice Kids Finish First

For Husband and Wife ( Day 14 of 18 )
JUST SHARING (from the “
Couple’s Devotional Bible”)
This article’s author: Dolores Curran
Bible Passage: 2 Kings 22:1-20

Key Verse: 2 Kings 22:1-2

“Josiah was eight years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem thirty-one years… He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord and walked in all the ways of his father David, not turning aside to the right or to the left.”

I was leading a workshop on affirming and supporting children when a mother voiced a rather common problem. “What do you do when you have one child who is first in everything and another who is mediocre? If I praise Tom on his good grades, I know it hurts Dan. But there’s nothing to praise Dan for.”

I suggested that she could affirm Dan’s strengths. But before I could go on, she interjected, “But he never wins at anything.” I tried to get her to name Dan’s good qualities, not his “successes,” but she looked at me blankly. Finally I said, “If Dan should die, what would you and your family miss?”

“Oh,” she said, “we’d miss his gentleness and fun. He always tries to make the rest of us feel better if we’re down. And he’s the peacemaker in the family.”

Suddenly she realized her problem: She could affirm visible achievement, but not those virtues that make people “good” in a world that needs them more than it needs Olympic stars.

What we need today are more Dans than Toms. To be sure, the Toms will invent more technology, reach CEO status, become high-ranking military officers and run Wall Street. But the Dans will foster a kinder nation. We need all the Dans we can nurture.


What are some of your spouse’s visible achievements? each of your children’s?

What are some of the less obvious character traits you can affirm in them?

Additional Scripture Readings: Psalm 119:9-11; 1 Timothy 4:12

Published in: on 17 March 2008 at 12:20 am  Comments (2)  
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