IDENTITY

If you are not resting as a parent in your identity in Christ, you will look for identity in your children.

Paul D. Tripp

I spent over a decade coaching high school athletics.  During that time, I interacted with many parents who delicately balanced the ongoing tension between pushing their children to excel and encouraging them along the way.  On the flip side, I experienced parents seeking to relive their own “glory days” through their children’s athletic success. 

The result of the latter scenario was far too often a broken relationship between the child and the parent, or children who literally put all of their hope in pleasing their parents. 

To be blunt, it seems like this is what much of childhood athletics has turned into in America–middle aged parents seeking their own identity and value in their children’s success.

If we can step out of that mindset for a moment, we may realize the effects that our over obsession with childhood athletics is causing.  Not only is it unhealthy, it is often an indicator of deeper heart issues we have as parents.

In this chapter of Parenting, Paul Tripp addresses the reality of seeking our own identity in our children instead of Christ.  

A friend of mine says it best this way: “Your children are not your report card.”  In other words, our own identity should not be found in our children’s academic, artistic or athletic abilities.  Unfortunately, we often live as if the successes and failures of our children are the summation of our personal value.

The simple question is, does this describe us as parents?  Tripp gives five indicators to help us answer this consideration:

  1. Too much focus on success
  2. Too much concern about reputation
  3. Too great a desire for control
  4. Too much emphasis on doing rather than being
  5. Too much temptation to make it personal

We encourage you to take time to read chapter five and consider each of these indicators! 

At the end of the day, we all want the best for our children.  However, we must always remember that our children are God’s children before they are our own.

 God didn’t give you your children to build your reputation but to publicly proclaim His.

Paul D. Tripp

May we raise our children to bring glory to Him, not ourselves!  Let us commit to this not only for our sake but for the health of our children.


Hilton Head Christian Academy‘s Life+ blog was created to equip today’s Christian parents with practical tools, thought provoking content, and honest conversation.

This fall, we look forward to parenting alongside all of you through a new series based on a life-giving book by Pastor Paul Tripp: Parenting: 14 Gospel principles that can radically change your family.

Each week we will unpack them chapter by chapter right here on the Life+ blog. We hope you’ll grab a copy and dive in with us, taking time to discuss each principle with your own family and the people God has placed in your life.

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