There are times as a parent where you have to decide if you are going to submit your desires to train your child according to your personal values and beliefs to the pressures of the society around you or if you are going to stand firm and hold on those things you hold as true and require your children to do the same. When those situations arise, it can be a difficult situation not only for you but for your child as well. It forces them to become an individual or a follower and they can only make that decision with your guidance,support and ultimately the values you give them at home.
“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”
Proverbs 22:6 (KJV)
As a child, my Grandmother always told me that when I commit to something, I should do my best to follow through on that committment no matter what. That always stuck with me. Growing up, raised by an Evangelist and Leader in the church, I was always given responsibilities and at times what seemed to be assignments yet even when I didn’t necessarily want to do them I felt that sense of responsibility to complete and give them my all simply because I had given my word. Whether I was told to do something or volunteered, I tried my best to give it 110%.
Integrity– firm adherence to a code of especially moral or artistic values
As I grew older, this sense of integrity carried over into my education and extracurricular life. When I said I was going to be on a group or team I always made sure to do my part whether the other members did or not simply because my name and my word had been placed on it. I felt if my word wasn’t worth anything and couldn’t be counted on then in turn neither could I .
“The greatness of a man is not in how much wealth he acquires, but in his integrity and his ability to affect those around him positively”
As an adult, when I entered the professional arena I always made it a point to be certain that my work and my word were something that could be counted on no matter what. I very rarely called in unless it were a true emergency or unavoidable and if I could foresee a day that I would not be there I did everything in my power to prepare my co-workers for my absence. I tried to be sure that my standards towards my work left an impact. I wanted those around me to know how much my word meant to me above all else.
“The just man walketh in his integrity: his children are blessed after him.”
Proverbs 20:7 (KJV)
Now as a parent, I seem to be facing a struggle to instill the same foundation of values my grandmother placed in me at such an early age. Just this weekend my Teenager came to me asking if he could miss a Youth Ministry meeting simply because he “was hoping for a break” this weekend after having Band Camp practices all week. I told him no because he had already given his word and his committment to the leader and the other members of the ministry team. He went on to explain how he didn’t really see the big deal in missing one meeting. I had to explain that he had no true reason to miss it and what if the next one he had a real reason perhaps being sick or something and then that would be two meetings he missed.
For me, I feel it is more important for him as well as my other Kiddies to understand that it is the value of their word that is what’s important. Not what other people may be doing or what they think may be accepted excuses. The fact that they said they would be somewhere or do something is what they need to stand by and behind. Needless to say he is attending the meeting, even though he is probably not very happy with me at this moment. Yet, I feel the temporary attitude will be worth the long-term lesson.
*Update: Shortly after I pressed publish on this story and my Teenager left for the meeting I received a text from him saying that it wasn’t actually a meeting but a Bowling Trip that the Youth Ministry planned for the members. I resisted the urge to point out if he had stayed home he would have missed out on a day of fun that the ministry planned as a reward for the dedicated members. Perhaps the lesson will not be missed even if I don’t point it out?
How do you instill morals and values into your children that may be against the popularity of their peers?
Have you ever given it and just bent the rules?