The difference in a parent taking initiative in leading their household and manipulating their family is enormous. We might tend to think that we could never use tactics to lead our families but we then again we rarely, if ever, spend very much time evaluating the way we lead in the home.
For me, thinking about leading the way Jesus always conjures up images of washing feet and His words concerning these types of actions. So how does one take initiative, keep themselves in check, and still serve all at the same time?
Let’s audit ourselves. We have to re-arrange our understanding of what it means to take initiative. Here are 3 ideas we can use to take the reins and give them to God:
- Set the tone. We are examples in our houses, in our families, to or co-workers. Everywhere we go we have the opportunity to crash someone’s view of what it means to be a Christian or hopefully, re-inforce it. Everyone we meet is looking and may or may not get to meet an ambassador of the king of the universe. How much more will our children look to us for this?
- Are you morose? Do not be surprised that your kids are not fighting for joy.
- Are you famously impatient? Why call our kids spoiled?
We should say they are good learners. You get the point.
2. Set the tempo. We are the metronomes. We hold the back-beat. The aggressive nature with which we pursue whatever it is we passionately pursue will be the battle cry for the army that could be your family. You chase after something and your kids will too. Your spouse will.
- Are you all pulling in different directions?
- Is everything spiraling out of control?
You are at the head of the pack. Your clicks and shouts at the beginning of the day tell your family whether this will be a sad 3/4 waltz or an impossibly fast 1/2 march.
3. Set the standard. In every way, we are the example. We are the conductor and the audience too. We drill the family. We teach them in safe environments before the big day. We also applause our families. Sometimes, we boo them. Sometimes I boo myself and self-deprecation goes beyond humor into a cultural stigma.
- We set the atmosphere through proactive and reactive measures.
- What is valued is shown clearly through routine.
REPENTING is the biggest way we set the bar. We often have to say, “I’m sorry. I was wrong. Please forgive me.” And if we can’t…
Taking initiative does not mean we always have great family meetings and great family worship times. Sometimes we have awful times but taking the initiative to do something at all shows your family where you place the success badge. There’s a famous saying that we should adopt, “If something is worth doing, it’s worth doing poorly!”
We don’t all have to be outward, expressive CEO type leaders or even macho, flippant rugged typos. Heck! We definitely don’t need to all be reclusive, write more than you say types. We might have to leave behind the unchecked cynicism, or the impossible idolatrous (temporary) standards, the false enthusiasm, the overly rewarding, the too busy to earn my attention lifestyles and recognize the manipulative nature we have taken with the gifts we have been given.
We have to ask how are we stewarding our lives and the lives of our families to the glory of God? As parents, we need to be ever mindful of our roles and the way Jesus intends to use us in the make-up he has given us to be the first to grab a towel, a bowel of water, and our families grimy, nasty feet and get to work.