Do We Carry Them or Do We Move Them Forward?
I’ve said this many times before, and I’ll say it many more I’m certain. Being a dad raising kids and being a husband learning to love my wife better, has taught me, forced me to learn, and stretched me more than anything else in my life.
Today in particular I am thinking about the parenting side. We have some snow this week, and there are some icy conditions. My oldest son, who has been driving now for three months now, needed to go to school today. As a parent, I was really wrestling with what to do. “Do I let him drive or do I drive him?”
If I am more honest, the question was, “do I trust him in this part of the process, or do I take control and cause him to miss an opportunity to learn?”
If you’re a parent reading this, you may see it more like, “do you love and protect your kids or do you leave them out there to be devoured by the world?” I get it… but stay with me.
It is my conviction, that this back and forth applies to way more parts of our life than we want to admit. I see it in parents, but I especially see it in leaders, inside and outside the church.
There is a scary challenge, or there is a project, or there is an event that really matters, so the leader/the parent takes things back into their own hands and their own control.
I don’t believe control is the central active thought, but I do believe control is at the center of why.
Each of us are doing what we’re doing in life, because at some point in time, we were given the opportunity to do it. That’s true for literally everyone. Yet, for many of us, we somehow forget that.
We want to wait for our kids to be responsible adults before we give them room to make decisions; but in truth, room to make decisions (good and bad ones) is what makes our kids into responsible adults.
We want the people on our team to polished professionals with a great track record before we give them room to make decisions and REALLY lead; but in truth, room to lead and make decisions (good and bad ones) is what makes people into great leaders.
If we carry our kids, the people around us, we may save them from hardship or failure, but I would ask, is that always a good thing?
I would suggest, the way we help people move forward, family or otherwise, is not by carrying them, but rather by strategically and repeatedly giving them opportunities to stretch, to try, and yes, to fail.
I know this isn’t black and white, I know this isn’t simple, but I hope you hear my heart. Yes they will fall, yes they will make mistakes but those falls and mistakes will prepare them for a stronger tomorrow.
And for the sake of transparency, I let my son drive himself to work today in the ice, but I drove behind him for a while. Baby steps :)