Empower Responsibility

August 25, 2022

We are in a series about Jesus-Centered Parenting. Before I jump into this week's topic, I want to invite you to send me ideas of what you’d like to hear/read next here in the News & Notes and blog.

Empowering Your Child

This week, I want to empower you to empower your child through responsibility. I think we can agree, our world needs adults who will carry their weight at work and in society. While I believe some of this preparation can be learned through school, the best place to learn responsibility is in the home.

And my encouragement to you is to begin this preparation as soon as you can.

Now, obviously, you can't give your kid responsibilities on day one. But you can…  

Empower Responsibility • Riverwood Church
  • ...have them help you pick up their toys when they are 6 months old
  • ...let them "help" wash dishes in the sink when they are a year old
  • ...put their clothes in their drawer with you when they are 18 months old
  • ...or help you "wash" the car when they are two

Most little ones really enjoy "helping." So do what you can to include them as early as possible. And as they get older, begin to assign them jobs to do as part of the family. (If you do create a "chore" chart, be sure to include yourself, so they can see how much you contribute into the functioning of the household.) These “jobs” will prepare them to become great employees (and employers!), appreciated spouses, and valued community members.

Jesus-Centered Empowerment

All of the above is well and good, but if you notice, it's just helpful advice. Where does the Jesus-centered motivation come in?

I believe the reason you should aim to empower your child to bear responsibility is because that is exactly what Jesus has done with us.

Think about it… When Jesus gathered his followers on a hill as he prepared to ascend to heaven after his resurrection, he commanded them to "Go, and make disciples." In other words, He gave them the responsibility to continue the mission He had begun. And he empowered them through His presence, which was found through the Holy Spirit.

This means that if God the Son, who could have done everything Himself perfectly, chose to empower His followers to continue His mission, you can do likewise and empower your child(ren) to take on responsibility. As your kids learn the value of work, they will be building character, learning life does not revolve around them, and discovering a part of their purpose in life is to serve others.

Keep in mind: God does not micromanage you. If you follow Jesus, He has given you His Spirit, but He has not taken over your actions like computer programming might control a robot. So as you give your kids jobs to do, obviously teach them, but don't micromanage them. You are trying to increase their sense of responsibility, not just simply getting them to accomplish a task.

So give your kids appropriate responsibilities, empowering them to thrive and become the people God plans for them to be. You'll be a happy parent, and the world (as well as your kids) will thank you one day.

Erin Bird Lead Pastor - Riverwood Church

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