TIP 35. DEVELOPING RESPONSIBILITY
One of the ultimate aims of 'parenting' is to raise children fully prepared for life as an adult within our society, and to ensure that they have something to contribute. I believe that each child born in this world has something to contribute to our society, from the Prime Minister of a nation to the workers in the factories, all have an ability to strengthen and add to the benefit of our society as a whole.
To be able to contribute to and benefit our society, children need to be well balanced and have developed a sense of personal responsibility and duty. It is one of the fathers primary roles to ensure that his children are being raised correctly, with a respect for authority and attitudes that are conducive to building and not destroying our society. Whether we are raising boys or raising girls we need to impart to them the values that will make them successful in life.
We often see people characterised on the TV, 'stereotypes' that are stunted in some way and not fully mature and ready for life in the world. These are the ones that are the 'butt' of jokes and that people all too readily laugh about, but I ask you the question, would you like your child to turn out like that?
Developing the character of your child is a marathon and not a 100 m sprint. It will take all the years at your disposal to form the attitudes and beliefs that they will need throughout their lives. These attitudes and beliefs are required to be understood and appreciated, that they might also pass them on to the next generation.
As your child grows it is important that we as parents don't do 'everything' for them, otherwise they may reach physical maturity without 'growing up' on the inside. One of the best ways to train your children is to delegate responsibilities to them as they grow. If they can handle those responsibilities well, then they can benefit by having a growing level of authority within their own lives.
When a child is born and for a number of years after that, they have their clothes chosen for them by an adult. But as the child grows and shows a level of responsibility in that area you can then entrust them (authority) with choosing their own clothes to wear (most of the time anyway).
As a child grows in their knowledge of numbers and money, you can get them to pay for the bread and milk at the local shop and count the change etc. As a child shows a growing level of maturity and compliance to the 'house rules', they can be rewarded with greater liberty by having their own keys etc.
All these examples show a concept that helps develop your child, bit by bit, stage by stage throughout life, in a way that will have them fully trained and ready to look after themselves and their own family later in life.
I believe that many times it may not be how your children turn out, but how their children turn out that may be the most defining judgement of your fathering skills.
Dads' Call To Action:
Give your children responsibilities around the home and reward them when they do them faithfully. This will begin a process to have them fully developed for life outside your home.
(Galatians 4 v1-2)
Now I say that the heir, as long as he is a child, does not differ at all from a slave, though he is master of all, but is under guardians and stewards until the time appointed by the father.