Want to be inspired? Walk the 3-Day Breast Cancer Walk. As I walked 60 miles over three days, I met women who had every right to think of themselves as victims. They had survived a horrible disease that had ravaged their bodies. Yet, these were some of the most energized, positive people I had ever met. They refused to think of themselves as victims.
No matter what may happen to your children, the best gift you can give them is to teach them how to avoid thinking of themselves as victims. Victims get stuck. They don’t move forward. They don’t accomplish anything, because they are fixated on their pain. They surely, can’t reach their godly potential or accomplish the plans God has for their lives. They can’t continue to mature spiritually, because growth requires looking forward. Victims are stuck in the past when the hurt occurred.
In our society, people gain power and riches when they convince others they are victims. Then they can swoop in and “save the day” – often by actually victimizing the very people they are claiming to help. It used to be tough to convince people they were victims. Now we have a society full of them.
So what’s the number one cause of a victim mentality? Not an event or trauma or even pain. The number one cause is not having a childhood where their emotional and other needs were fully met. In a society full of children, teens and adults who spent little if any meaningful time with their parents, we have the root of our culture being stuck – people who have been primed to be victims, by parents who didn’t meet the emotional needs of their kids.
This series may be one of the most important I will share with you. In order for your kids to grow spiritually, develop their God-given gifts, serve others and share their faith, they cannot think of themselves as victims. If they do, their life will remain frozen. In fact, believe it or not, your kids may already see themselves as victims – even if they have not experienced a particularly traumatic event. If so, they may never mature much past where they are right now.
So how do you know if you are accidentally raising a victim? I will share the signs to look for tomorrow. In the mean time, go find your kids. Spend some intentional, meaningful time with them. Have fun. Tell them you love them. Hug them. Fill the emotional space you were meant to fill in your children’s hearts. Raise a survivor, not a victim. (P.S. Later this week, I will share more tips for raising survivors and thrivers.)