Trust Your Kids With Responsibility
By Rick Warren
— May 21, 2014
"Whoever can be trusted with a little can also be trusted with a lot ... And if you cannot be trusted with things that belong to someone else, who will give you things of your own?" (Luke 16:10, 12 NCV)
Nothing brings out the best in a person like having someone believe in him and trust him with responsibility. Jesus pointed this out. He said the way we grow is by being given responsibility. Luke 16 says, "Whoever can be trusted with a little can also be trusted with a lot ... And if you cannot be trusted with things that belong to someone else, who will give you things of your own?" (v. 10, 12 NCV).
Wise leaders and parents understand this principle. People respond to responsibility. Kids respond to responsibility. We all need places where we are trusted, where we can grow, develop, and prove ourselves. The only way you can learn the life skill of responsibility is by being given the opportunity to show responsibility.
Part of bringing out the best in your kids involves allowing them to fail. Our tendency is to protect our kids from failure; it's natural. We want to protect them from mistakes. We don't want them to feel bad. If they do fail, we want to bail them out quickly so they won't suffer.
But what we're doing is preventing them from learning a valuable lesson. Everybody fails; nobody is good at everything. The key to this has nothing to do with not failing in life; it's learning how to rebound from a failure. When you don't give kids the opportunity to fail, you are saying to them, "You're not competent, and I don't trust you. You can't handle it, so I'm going to do it for you." That approach keeps kids dependent upon their parents.
The Bible says this in Galatians 6:5: "We are each responsible for our own conduct" (NLT). When your kids fail, don't let them blame anybody else. Why? Because we must all learn that we are responsible for our own actions. That is a desperately needed truth today, because we're living in a nation of victims. Everybody is a victim! It's all somebody else's fault! But the Bible says we're each responsible for our own conduct. We're far better off trusting our kids too much than we are trusting them too little.
Talk About It
- Are you doing too much for your kids? How could taking responsibility for someone take responsibility away from that person?
- Talk about some of the failures you've experienced in your life. How did they help you grow as a person and in your walk with God?
- Do you think it's important for your kids to experience failure so that they can learn some of the same life lessons? How do you handle this?
Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., one of America's largest and most influential churches. Rick is author of the New York Times bestseller "The Purpose Driven Life." His book, "The Purpose Driven Church," was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th century. He is also the founder of Pastors.com, a global Internet community for pastors.
This devotional © 2012 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.