Dear Pastors, Missionaries, Chaplains and friends,
Steve here…This Sunday is Father’s Day. I looked up “fatherhood” in the dictionary and found the word between “fathead” and “fatigue”. Mmmmmm…I wonder if Websters is trying to tell us something?!
I wanted to briefly talk about one of the most important things we do as fathers. We must help develop trust with our children through responsibility.
Nothing brings the best out of our children, or anyone for that matter, than entrusting them with responsibility. It tells them that you believe in them. In the oft misunderstood parable of the Shrewd Manager, Jesus has this to say about this principle:
“Whoever can be trusted with a little can also be trusted with a lot. If you cannot be trusted with things that belong to somebody else, who will give you things of your own.” (Luke 16:10, 12; NCV)
This is one of the most important skills a father can pass on to his children – teaching them how to be responsible. We live in a culture full of irresponsible adults. Why? They never learned responsibility as children.
So, how do we learn to be responsible? Simply, we learn to be responsible by somebody trusting us with responsibility. Parents are responsible to pass on responsibility to their children. Too often, parents want to hold on too tightly, or be overprotective. When you really think about it, overprotection is a form of mistrust. We overprotect and subtly communicate that our children are incompetent or unreliable. As children mature, parents must be willing to give responsibility away to them. This is a basic life skill that must be learned early.
Children respond to responsibility. In fact, they often love it and thrive on it. If we continue to treat our kids like babies, there is a good chance that we will be cleaning up some of their dirty diapers well into adulthood. When we take responsibility FOR people, we take it AWAY from people. Today we call that being co-dependent and it is not healthy.
Our children need to feel the consequences of their own actions if they are ever to learn about responsibility. They must REAP what they SOW. Think back, for just a moment, to those occasions in your childhood you remember with fondness. I’m certain several of those memories will be when your mom or dad, uncle, teacher, neighbor orSunday school teacher entrusted you with a responsibility. You accomplished it and were praised! Children respond incredibly to responsibility! Everyone inherently wants to TRUST and be TRUSTED.
I trust our churches get a chance to honour our father and grandfathers this Sunday.
Have a blessed week,