A father who leads in humility has children who understand forgiveness. A father who leads in honesty has children who truly understand what integrity means and who strive to maintain their own.
As teenagers (and tweens), your children will arrogantly believe that what they think to be right, is “the way it is.” This will be difficult. Remember they will be adults and the same truths apply to their selfish-pride even now. Also remember, your job is to help them understand the difference between arrogance and confidence.
Your children will respect you more when you are wrong, and you own up to it asking for their forgiveness, than when they realize that you are so stubborn you will act like you’re right at all costs, even the expense of your honesty.
But some of the best time, was actually when it rained… it rained the day we got there (before anyone else – because I took the whole day off), and we sat in the tent and played cards. Saturday afternoon, we spent lunch eating hot dogs under a tree to avoid the rain – of course, we had our rain gear on, but it was really fun.
It was definitely something that she will remember, and she already talking about wanting to go back next year.
When we arrived at the pool, my daughter immediately got in, and I realized I had forgotten to bring a journal in which I had intended to do my daily study (still multitasking — guess not!). Upset by this, I dove into my book (pun intended), somewhat disgruntled… and only read two paragraphs. What I read was this:
Your integrity, like that of a ship, has a wholeness to it. If you are dishonest, then your “ship” has a hole in the keel and is taking on water. Your integrity is no longer intact, and while a ship can take on some water and still float it is a practice in futility to continually compromise the integrity of the ship that is keeping you afloat.
Admitting when you are wrong not only gives your children permission to be wrong themselves, but it also teaches them how to be honest when they are!
The whole reason your children have parents is to help them work through the issues that God allows into their lives and to teach them to do the work themselves. Too often many parents, myself included, take it personally when their children act foolishly… Remember, they are children, foolishness is bound up in their heart. It is normal for a child to start out foolish, your job is to help them through it, not react to it.
Do your best to be an example to your children of how to overcome these temptations. This is how you can guide them to be men, or women, of God, treating others the way they want to be treated. This is how you equip your children to be poised to make a difference in this world. Much of the world that will surround them, by the time they become adults will behave in a manner contrary to these truths. It is your job, Dad, to set your children up for success.
My temper makes me unapproachable. It chips away at my credibility. It causes people to “walk on eggshells” when they are around me, so as to not step on a land mine that will set off an explosion of my temper. It causes my children to be hesitant to bring their concerns, their problems, and their crisis to me because they are not sure how I will “react.” This is the opposite of what we want as fathers.