Raising Heroes of the Heart
“You don’t raise heroes, you raise sons. And if you treat them like sons, they’ll turn out to be heroes, even if it’s just in your own eyes.” These words were spoken by American businessman and World War I veteran, Walter M. Schirra Sr. (1893 – 1973), who is best known as the father of astronaut, Wally Schirra, one of the seven astronauts selected for NASA’s Project Mercury in 1959. Wally later flew in all three of NASA’s first manned space programs.
The LORD your God in your midst, The Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.
– Zephaniah 3:17 NKJV
Walter Schirra Sr.’s insightful words serve as a reminder that your role as a parent isn’t to shape heroes, but to nurture the unique individuals your children are. And Zephaniah 3:17 wonderfully depicts how God, as the perfect model of a parent, rejoices in His children, not for their spectacular achievements, but because they are His beloved children.
Guide your children towards a heroism that transcends the superficial – a heroism of the heart, rooted in faith and virtue.
At the intersection between Schirra’s quote and Zephaniah 3:17 you find a heartening reminder that your deepest joy shouldn’t spring from your children’s external accomplishments but from their personal growth, the development of their character and their spiritual journey. Your task isn’t to sculpt them into heroes in the eyes of the world, but to guide them to become individuals reflecting God’s love, grace and justice – and in this journey, they become your true heroes.
Rejoice over your children, soothe their fears with your love, and through your parenting, let them feel the comforting and empowering rhythm of God’s love. As you do so, you guide your children towards a heroism that transcends the superficial – a heroism of the heart, rooted in faith and virtue.
Today’s One Thing
Pay close attention this week to shift your focus from societal definitions of success, and instead, nurture your children’s inherent worth and individual virtues. Carve out time each day to affirm your children’s value not for their achievements, but for who they are as individuals with God’s unconditional love as demonstrated in Zephaniah 3:17.