Why I Want my Little Boy to Fail

Working in the public school setting the past several years has made me aware of many things:

  • lunchroom food sucks (but if you get in good with the lunchroom ladies...they'll hook you up)
  • schools are dirty...I wash my hands until they're cracked and chapped
  • sneak in the women's bathroom...it is always cleaner
  • parents don't want their children to fail

Let's talk about that last one today.

I want my little boy to grow up knowing some success and some failure. I want him to be familiar with achievement and disappointment. I do not want my child to grow up in a bubble, never knowing struggles and never hearing the word "no". I do not want my five-month-old to be raised like so many kids I know, thinking that life will be handed to him on a silver platter, that everyone deserves a trophy, and that everyone gets an "A".

That's not real life.

" I hope the test won't show that we have failed. But if it comes to that, we'd rather the test showed our failure than yours. We're rooting for the truth to win out in you. We couldn't possibly do otherwise. We don't just put up with our limitations; we celebrate them, and then go on to celebrate every strength, every triumph of the truth in you. We pray hard that it will all come together in your lives." 2 Corinthians 13:4-6

Failure opens up many opportunities for conversation. 

I think failure gives us more of a chance to talk than if we were always #WINNING at everything.

So how should we deal with failures?  What do we do about shortcomings? How do we respond when those we care about miss the mark? When our imperfections become public knowledge...then what?

"Don't pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults— unless, of course, you want the same treatment. That critical spirit has a way of boomeranging. It's easy to see a smudge on your neighbor's face and be oblivious to the ugly sneer on your own. Do you have the nerve to say, 'Let me wash your face for you,' when your own face is distorted by contempt? It's this whole traveling road-show mentality all over again, playing a holier-than-thou part instead of just living your part. Wipe that ugly sneer off your own face, and you might be fit to offer a washcloth to your neighbor." Matthew 7:1-3

  • Acknowledge a failure. The truth will set you free.
  • Give grace once the shortcoming has been recognized.  A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down.

"If you've never failed, you've never lived."