Monday, August 27, 2007

Priveleges and Responsibilities

You often hear these words paired together - privileges and responsibilities - particularly when it comes to parenting. It's been a running joke in my wife's family for years. When she and her brothers grew up, this phrase echoed in their ears constantly. And, that tradition continues as Amy's dad, now affectionately known as "Grandpa," shares this lifelong principle with our two sons.

"P & R" sounds so elementary, so simple. But, it's message is profound. P & R have a converse relationship. You do one, you get the other. If you demonstrate responsibility, you earn privileges. And when you earn privileges, they come with responsibility. They're like Frick & Frack. Yin and Yang. Abbott and Costello. Brad & Angelina. They belong together.

And, while I have always viewed P & R in terms of "this is something my kids need to get through their thick skulls," I have also begun to view them through the lenses of my unique role as a dad. We just finished up a 3-part series at NorthStar Church entitled Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? Over the course of three weeks we discussed what parents need to teach their kids about God, about Life, and about Sex.

As intimidating and overwhelming as parenting can be at times, I have realized how truly thankful I am to be in a position of passing along Godly wisdom to my kids. To use my life experiences - good and bad - to aid them in their journey. And, the bottom line is that I'd much rather that my wife and I teach our kids these things than their friends or the media - TV, movies, internet, etc.

So, as PARENTS, we too have privileges and responsibilities. We have the unique role of guiding our children in the way they should go. It takes love, discipline, and time...and most of all - EFFORT! We get to enjoy priceless memories and develop lifelong bonds with our children. But, we can never forget the huge responsibility that comes with the awesome benefits of parenthood.

Your kids need you and - believe it or not -
want you intimately involved in their lives. And, when we view parenthood as a privilege and not a "right," we'll be able to deal more effectively with the responsibilities that come along with it!

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