Gifts for your children…

“The greatest gifts you can give your children are the roots of responsibility and the wings of independence.”

Denis Waitley 

I had a conversation with a friend the other day and we were discussing the things that we desire to instill in our children. The ‘gifts’ as it were that they will carry forward into life and will become part of their unique and special selves.

As I have reflected on this, and observed behaviors from other parents and children, it occurred to me that much like your own personal growth and development where you make choices on what is most important to focus on at a given time, the same is true with your children’s growth & development. At certain ages and stages you must instill certain gifts and beliefs or they will miss the importance of these lessons and will likely struggle to gain them later in life as they will be much harder lessons to learn as they grow older. It is our responsibility as parents to teach them and guide them so that as they grow up that they have a strong foundation to build upon.

I really like this quote because at foundational level these gifts of ‘responsibility’ and ‘independenc’e can serve them well throughout life. To that list I would add humility, service, respect, curiosity and a love of God. It’s not a complete list yet, but one that I am definitely going to be thinking more about. What would you put on your list?

Trust empowers growth…

“Few things can help an individual more than to place responsibility on him, and to let him know that you trust him.” 

Booker T. Washington

WIth trust comes freedom. Freedom to act, to think, to stretch beyond where you are today and embrace what could be. Sharing with someone else that you trust them empowers them to grow. On the flip side, demonstrating that you don’t trust someone steals that opportunity from them.

How do you ensure that you convey trust through your words and behaviors?

What could have been done?

“We are responsible for far more than what we have been given; we are responsible for what could have been done with all that we have been entrusted with.”

Erwin Raphael McManus

There are really two key questions to be addressed here. First, “What have I been entrusted with?” Second, “what could have been done?”

Think of all the things that we have been entrusted with. The lives of our children. Our relationships with others. Opportunities to lessen the load of another human being and serve. Chances to simply make another person smile. These are just a few of the thoughts that immediately came to mind for me this morning.

I know that I fail regularly at living out this quote fully and completely. It is too easy to become myopic and only focus on “what I have been given” instead of what I am truly entrusted with. This quote is going to require further meditation and thought as I wrestle with what it means for me and how I live my life. Specifically as I think through the “what could I have done” question.

Ultimately it comes down to answering this question. How do we live life in a manner that glorifies God by being responsible for all that He has entrusted us with? It isn’t about owning things and possessing stuff. It is about owning the responsibility and being accountable for “what could have been done.”

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