What is Success?

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The book Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother created a buzz among mothers because Amy Chua, the author, wrote how she parented her two daughters to excel academically and musically.  What made them successful is that she reared them as a typical Chinese (Asian) mother whose style is superior to the Western culture. She writes how instead of respecting her child’s individuality and providing a nurturing environment, she pushed strong work habits that required her to put full attention on her daughters 24/7.

Moms are important models to children, so we should help them understand what a healthy and godly view of success is. As Christian moms, shouldn’t success be about living in a such a way that you are using what God has given you—your intellect, abilities, and energy—to reach the purpose that He intends for your life?

My close friend recently returned from a missions trip to Yanji, China. She was excited about leaving America and went with an open heart to God’s miracles and work, but with closed heart to ever serving there. Interestingly, she said the moment she arrived in China, tears welled up in her eyes because she knew God was opening her heart to the beauty of people who hungered to know Him.

My friend’s husband had been praying about becoming missionaries for years, but because of her concerns about the future education of her two young daughters, she always closed the topic with no chance of further discussion. For if they went, how would the girls be able to compete with other kids academically and get into a good college?

She said that all her fears about her children’s education and the “what-if” questions melted away after a few days because she realized that being a “Tiger Mom” who tried to control every aspect of her daughters’ lives and success did not matter. For God is great and He will provide for the future of her daughters and will use them for His will. It was at this point that she understood she needed to stop standing in the way of God’s work and allow Him to touch and mold the lives of her daughters.

Our children will be successful in life if they are willing to love and follow Christ. I am thankful to my friend for reminding me to stop focusing on the mundane things in life, but to teach our children through our actions and instructions that success in the world is not about a person’s measure of importance, intelligence, and success, but our faith, our faithfulness, and our obedience.

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About JulieJK

After Julie had her first child in 2004, she felt God was calling her into ministry to be a Children's Minister. She feels blessed to be part of such a supportive church community that not only financially supported her education as a seminary student at Moody Theological Seminary, but has also provided endless discipleship, counseling, and encouragement. Julie has been married for eleven years and has two beautiful children. She considers both children a gift from God and acknowledges that parenting takes a lot of prayer and wisdom. When she is not sweating out pages for her book, she enjoys spending time with friends, reading a good book, and drinking lots of coffee.

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