Raising children to make their own choices comes with a good amount of risk. It involves surrendering control even when you know better. You learn about the relative ease of bearing the costs of your own bad mistakes compared to watching your children suffer for theirs. However, it does powerful things for long term relationship, character, and confidence building. It also sets up some wonderful coaching opportunities.
The perspective I seek to share my son and daughter rolls out something like this:
There is incredible value built into each and everyone of your days. They all hold amazing potential, and once that potential is expended you can never get it back. More than just time, you have energy, cognition, emotions, and physical resources to steward. To make this easier to think about lets call the combination of all those valuable concepts “life.” All day long how to spend or invest your life in chunks. Let’s call those astoundingly valuable and irreplaceable chunks “life units.” Finally, just to make the conceptual math easy, lets say God gives you one hundred life units each day. Those units represent the ultimate and irretrievable value of time, energy, thought, resources, and all the stuff that makes you you. Choose wisely.
How many units will you invest today in school/work – sixty, seventy, eighty? Of the small number left-
How many will you spend on anger?
How many of your precious life units will you gladly hand over to the people who love you?
How many units of life will fear and worry steal?
How much life will you spend on those who can never possibly pay you back – the ones who need your help?
How much of your life will you pour into electronic entertainment?
Today, how much of your life will you give over to having your feelings hurt, self-pity, or complaining?
How many life units go to purchase identity, purpose, and comfort at the mall?
How many units will you spend on play, adventure, and perhaps even wonder?
Of your one hundred units of life…how many will give back to Jesus trusting that he will invest them far more wisely than you can ever hope to?
Finally, what do you hope to purchase with such unimaginably valuable currency?
Love, peace, joy, and hope based on faith. True security? Or, are you buying control, power, and self-indulgence?
The choices are many. Choose wisely.