November 21, 2012

Olympic-level Parents

Like many this past summer, I was caught up in Olympic fever. I was so excited for the Olympics to begin that I even prepared a British-themed dinner (Cadbury!) to celebrate.

Among the highlights from the London Olympic Games (aside from marveling at the 12,000-calories-a-day diets of swimmers such as Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte) was watching the parents of Olympians. Phelps’ mother, long applauded for her support in his rise to Olympic greatness, always had cameras trained on her, capturing every nuance of her excitement and emotion. And video of gymnast Aly Raisman’s parents, with their squirming anxiety followed by joyful relief, went viral. Even Britain’s Princess Anne cracked a smile of pride as she presented her daughter, Zara, and her teammates with the silver medal for eventing.

The stories that emerged from the Olympics—as they have in Olympiads past—of the dedication and sacrifice of parents to their children’s Olympic success was inspiring. And it made me think about what could make us Olympic-level parents.

The pursuit of athletic greatness aside, how far are we willing to go to see our children cross the greatest finish line we as believers aspire to? To see our children claim Jesus as number one in their lives, triumphant and victorious as they greet Him on the day He returns—isn’t that our greatest goal? So what are we willing to do to help them get there?

My prayer is that God equips us every day to put that goal ahead of all else. That in the process of raising our children to shine brightly in all of their interests, we will be willing to do whatever it takes to ensure we meet Jesus as a family.

Whatever it takes. 

Wilona Karimabadi is an assistant editor of Adventist Review and editor of KidsView. This article was published November 23, 2012.