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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

What's a parent to Do?: Taking Responsibility

 The kids, Adam and Eve, are in the Garden, they have eaten the forbidden fruit. As painful as it might sound, Adam was probably not too far away while Eve had her dialog with Satan. There are a number of things that Adam did not do.
He, Adam, doesn’t step between Eve and the serpent to protect her. He doesn’t interfere with what Satan is saying. He doesn’t try to correct Satan’s innuendos that God does not really care about them. He does nothing.
They run and hide, because God enjoyed visiting with them, and now they are, after all, naked. Well, they were always naked. Adam and Eve were probably afraid that they would be struck dead by a blow from God after they had eaten the forbidden fruit. But His wrath, as so often it does, took an unexpected turn. They were overcome with a deep sense of guilt that made them aware of their nakedness.
They are no longer innocent. Innocence implies that we have no knowledge of right and wrong in a particular situation. It means that we cannot choose one course of action over another, because we do not understand the difference between the choices and the consequences. 
The Tree has provided them with this knowledge. And now they know. They now know they are naked. They now know that they will never be like God. And they know they have screwed up royally. So, they hide…from God?
Even in their fallen condition, God did not leave them alone. He seeks them out in the twilight of this tragic day. God finds them, and we have another interesting dialog, beginning in Genesis 3:11.
Patient father that God is to them, He wants to know what happened. “Who told you that you were naked? You didn’t do the ONLY thing I told you not to? Correct?”

So, Adam, the head honcho on earth speaks up. But what does he say? He explains that if you look at this correctly, and from my (Adam's) perspective, the fault is actually two-fold.
  • It is God’s fault because He put the woman there.
  • And its Eve’e fault because she gave him the apple…so he ate it.

And can't you just hear God making that audible sigh as He now turns to the woman to ask what happened. She says it is the serpent’s fault, because now she understands that she has been deceived. 

What's the application?

Our focus right now is on taking responsibility. This segment of the story gives lessons about responsibility both at home and at work.

Home application

Parents are meant to be the responsible parties in a family. This is non-negotiable.

As parents, and everyone else filling in this role, we bring real life experience into the relationship. Although our children never want to believe it, we were young once. We weren’t born mature, and we weren’t born holy.

Most of us have fallen into the holes our children want to explore. We have strayed down those alleys where things didn’t pan out the way we’d hoped.
As parents, it is wrong for us to abdicate our responsibilities. Yes, you can and should reach out for some assistance. But if you are the primary care-giver, you must give this task everything you have.

  • That means that you have to make rules that your children stick to; even if they are unpopular and un-cool
  • There must be systems of accountability for their whereabouts.
  • Most importantly, there must be communication going both ways.

Our children are not little bitty Xerox copies of us. And for that matter, check yourself.... Why would most of them want to be. We have hope and dreams for them, but they also have dreams, aspirations and talents of their own. Explore them together.
Help them pursue their own lives. Give them skills to survive in the real world. And, if you don’t know, find someone that can mentor both of you.

Business application…


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