Trust Your Kids with Responsibility
By Rick Warren
“Whoever can be trusted with a little can also be trusted with a lot . . . If you cannot be trusted with things that belong to someone else, who will give you things of your own?” (Luke 16:10a, 12 NCV).
Kids need experiences that stretch them, reveal their talents, and develop their shape for ministry. They need challenges where they develop responsibility. One of the most important life skills all of us have to learn is responsibility.
How do you teach responsibility to your children? There’s only one way: Give them the opportunity. Trust them with responsibility. Will they make mistakes? Absolutely. You did, too, when you were growing up. Will they sometimes be irresponsible? Yes. But if you hold on to responsibility, you’re actually hurting your children. The goal of parenting from the moment your kids are born is to move them from parent control in the early years to self-control in the middle years to God’s control over their lives.
That means you have to give up control! When we take responsibility for people, we take it away from people. If you treat your children as babies and don’t let them grow up, you’ll have to diaper them the rest of your life. And you’re filling the world with another codependent person.
Many parents have said, “If I had it all to do over again, I’d do less for my children and teach them to do more for themselves.” The only way we grow is by being given challenges that stretch us, develop us, and build responsibility in our lives.
The Bible says, “Whoever can be trusted with a little can also be trusted with a lot . . . If you cannot be trusted with things that belong to someone else, who will give you things of your own?” (Luke 16:10a, 12 NCV).
Kids respond to responsibility. Having talked to many parents over the years and seen this in my own life, I believe that it’s far better to err on the side of giving too much responsibility than not trusting your kids enough. They’re going to make mistakes either way! Your goal is to produce a person who walks not just under his own self-control but also under God’s control.
Talk It Over
What is the difference between what you trust your kids with and what you were trusted with at their age?
What about society keeps us from more easily trusting our kids with responsibility?
How do you teach responsibility and God’s sovereignty at the same time?
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It doesn't matter how much you work out or how healthy you may eat, if you're not feeding and exercising your spirit… you're going to feel run down and tired – you’ll run out of gas. You’ve got to do more than just take care of your body. You’ve got to energize your spirit! And the best way to do that is with God’s Word! That’s why we’ve put together this new interactive guide called Re-Energize Your Life!
In this first-of-its-kind guide, created from Pastor Rick’s most practical teaching, you will learn everything you need to know to re-energize your life the way God intended. Step by step, you will begin a journey of restoration and renewal. It’s a hands-on guide you take at your own pace. No need to rush! In fact, we encourage you to stop and linger where you want to spend more time. You’ll benefit from biblical wisdom and learn how to apply it to your life in practical ways.
This devotional © 2017 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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