Why do parents kill courage in their kids?

Before the playoffs began one of my fellow kids pastors proposed a small gentleman’s  wager. You know the kind where the Mayor of New York sends the Mayor of Chicago a thin crust pizza if the Giants lose to the Bears in the Superbowl.

Jason took a risk a significantly higher risk than I did. He proposed that when the Mighty New York Yankees play his plucky Tigers whoever lost would have to post a blog post on the other person’s blog. As a Yankees fan can I just say Verlander is officially a beast. If you ever want to get rid of him we will take him off your hands for you. Well as luck would have it and I do mean luck the Tigers won. Congratulations to the Tigers.

So in the spirit of risk taking I thought I would talk a few minutes about risk. A while back I read a book by International Justice Mission Founder Gary Haugan called Just Courage. It was powerful and moving and it transformed how I parent my children.

Just Courage is a great book and a must read for every parent. I won’t bore you with a book report but the biggest take away for me was that in our society we value bravery and courage but preach safety. The two can not co-esist. We need to rethink how we address issues with our kids. I know reading this book helped me see as a father I can’t be so obsessed that my kids are safe because I will build into them an aversion for bravery and greatness when they are men.

We live in a society that is hungry for courageous men and women and yet we are destroying the very brave gene we crave by trying to creating a world where there is no pain. I don’t know about you but I want my kids to be brave and leave a legacy worth leaving.

The brave people at IJM are doing just that putting themselves in harms way to protect and defend the very weakest most vulnerable among us.

I know I have change my prayers and even how I talk to my boys and now put a much greater value on bravery because I want my kids to make a difference in their world not just “make it”.

Do your self two favors, read this book and find out more about the work of International Justice mission.

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