You want to do what???!!!
My son Nathan will soon be 16 years old. His voice has broken and he is much much taller than I am but I have fun reminding him I’m still in charge. Even as a pre-teen, he had strong opinions on everything, especially activities he felt he should be involved in and why. I on the other hand had strong opinions as well, but they included all of the reasons why he couldn’t do what he wanted to do when he wanted to. Our arguments were long and drawn out until the words of the wise ancients were finally spoken: “You aren’t going anywhere because I say so; end of story!”
Sometimes he would decide to do his own thing without permission and take the consequences … if and when he was found out. It is still hard for me to fathom why this boy must touch the stove to make sure it’s really hot even after I’ve insisted that the stove is not only hot but red hot.
Truth or untruth?
Having survived several heated conversations over the years, my emphasis however is still focused on teaching the importance of telling the truth, no matter the circumstance. Sometimes Nathan finds it hard to understand why it’s better to tell the truth and accept the consequences of your actions like a man (well, he’s still a ‘man-in-training’ but those are the words I use), than to tell one lie followed by another and then another after all of which the truth still finally comes out.
And I don’t stop there because directly related to telling the truth, he must also be a man of his word. No-one appreciates dealing with someone who makes a commitment but fails to deliver, who says they will be there on time but is continuously late, who borrows money but never ‘remembers’ to pay back even when asked.
Your word really is your bond
In life I’ve found it’s much less stressful to do what you’re supposed to do, when you’re supposed to do it, especially when it comes to your job, your church, your relationships, even yourself … but then again I’m really a big chicken. I hate confrontation and so I pay bills on time, give the government their due, and sign off on the necessary dotted line because if anyone will be found out for sure it will be me! When a situation involving a financial challenge comes up (like when I was laid off from a job a few years ago), I’ll let all of the relevant parties know rather than hide and wait for my car or house to be repossessed.
Maybe you can relate? Do you know anyone who uses short cuts, spouts distortions of the truth and executes on hidden agendas? Do they panic when they’re about to be ‘found out’ or worse yet become defensive when innocently questioned (while still continuing with their charade)? We all know the sayings: “Day will run until night catches it” and “Things done in the dark will come to light”. Worse yet is the one linked to the other two that says: “Whatever you do to someone, good or bad, will come back to you – aka Karma”.
It’s hard but it’s worth it!
Being a parent is challenging in so many ways and I’m not sure how big a manual we would need to be successful per se, but I must step up to the plate and do my part to encourage Nate to become an upstanding, honest, trust worthy member of our family and by extension our society. I am not giving up, because you can own every material possession possible and have a gazillion friends who profess loyalty, but it all becomes meaningless when lost – especially if your name is not ‘good’.
Do you agree?
♦ Verses for Reflection ♦
A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold.
Proverbs 22:1 (NIV)
The integrity of the upright guides them, but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity. Wealth is worthless in the day of wrath, but righteousness delivers from death. The righteousness of the blameless makes a straight way for them, but the wicked are brought down by their own wickedness. The righteousness of the upright delivers them, but the unfaithful are trapped by evil desires.
Proverbs 11:3-6 (NIV)