A great man once made the following keen observation - "Losing is just the opposite of winning." Okay, I jest. I made that statement in response to a loss I had just been handed at something that I now don't remember. After all, who remembers losses? Actually, some of life's greatest lessons are learned from defeat. To all of the parents out there, I pose this question, "What have we learned from the loss of our youth?" For the most part, we've learned how to make excuses for our losses, and to pass the blame to others. Sometimes a loss is unavoidable. For example, in my senior year of high school our basketball team was invited to play in a regional tournament to replace another local team that "couldn't make it." (That should have been the first red flag.) To make a somewhat long, but more so painful story short, we were extremely outclassed and out manned and were sent back home very humbly. So what happened? We had the same rules, played with the same equipment, knew the same basic facts of the game, yet we got thumped( forgive my slang). The difference, looking back now with a bit more understanding, was that they put to better use the skills that they had and to refer to a principle we find in Hebrews 4:14, they exercised their abilities more than did we. Now that was an unimportant sporting event that really had no bearing on the ultimate outcome of our lives. Our youth, on the other hand, are very important and how we rear them does have a very strong impact on their future. How can we guarantee a successful future? God tells us in II Peter 1:3 that He has given us all that we need to live a life of godliness. What sets apart a successful Christian from a not-so-successful Christian, is that one uses the tools God has given and the other makes excuses. Parents, do you know who your children's friends are? Proverbs 13:20 says, "He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed." Do you know the kind of influences that are affecting your child? Be it books, t.v., movies, computers, games, friends, etc., we must be aware of what is going on with our young people. Parents, more than any other person, have the God-given position to influence their young people. Sadly, many have forfeited that role due to other responsibilities, popular opinion, or some other "excusable" reason. In reality, what we're saying is, "Losing is just the opposite of winning."
C. Lee Carr