My Mistake with Responsibility

I teach my children that the first step in taking up responsibility is discerning what is, and what is not your responsibility. I learned this lesson through trial and error in my own life.

Conceptual royalty free stock image of a businessman carrying the world on his shoulders.

I happen to have responsibility as my #1 Strength according to Strength Finder 2.0, by Tom Rath. However, what I did, long before I knew about Strength Finder, was to take on the responsibility of my family and their provision, and guidance, and trials, and drama, and sin patterns, and immaturity, and the ideals of what I thought they should be versus what they were, and trying to bridge that gap, and fighting every battle, and deprecating myself because of the bad example I was leaving, and… and … and …

The purpose for that run-on sentence was to bring you a glimpse of what I was doing, in piling on the responsibility of things that were beyond my control. I carried the weight of the world on my shoulders for several years, and still struggle to keep it from piling on. It took my humor nearly completely away, for a time, in an effort to focus on not causing others to sin. I was not fun to be around, and I was always tired, floundering under the weight of not allowing God, who loves my family more than I do, to take care of the details that I couldn’t get to, even in my diligent efforts.

Don’t do that. Remember responsibility is a key, not a lock.

You don’t have to have everything on a spreadsheet, and in order; completely under control to take up the responsibility of your family. Even just thinking about that stressed me out, because I’m not so quick with Excel.

In many ways, I tried to go it alone and that only added to my unnecessary weight. We were never meant to do life alone, that’s why God gave us families in the first place. You don’t have to do it alone. Especially when you have a wife to help you… in fact that is exactly what God called her when He made her (and if the story of your life doesn’t contain a “her,” at the moment, remember that there are others out there who have gone through/are going through the same things as you). You are not alone in this, nor do you have to take this up all by yourself, that’s another reason for these pages.