Yesterday in church we had a wonderful lesson meant mostly for dads, but really applies to everyone. The talk was revolving around the moment when Jesus washed his disciples feet (John 13: 1-20) The verse referenced talks about how Jesus fully understood his purpose and his power. It then shows him lowering himself to a servant and washing the feet of those who followed him. He then commands them to follow his example and to do as he did.
To me this was significant, because as a parent I have power. I have the power over my children to teach them, guide them and mold them. Often I get frustrated and misuse that power in the ultimate “Because I said so” attitude. As though my place and position alone is all the answer they need from me.
The part of the verse that sticks with me as that he commands them to do AS he did. He is not referencing specifically the act of washing anothers’ foot, but the act of serving. It also previously mentioned that he knew that Judas was going to betray him, but Jesus still washes his feet as well.
I know my kids are going to mess up. I know that they are going to do things to disappoint me and betray me. It’s their nature. Yet, as their parent do I exalt myself as the ultimate judge, jury and executioner to teach them how to behave in life? Do I treat them with discrimination knowing that they will fall short?
According to what I am called to do, I should teach them through humility.
It’s the act of getting down on my knees beside them and cleaning up the 786th spilled cup of milk, rather than standing over them and telling them that I *knew* they were just going to spill it.
It’s giving them the chance to tell me they are indeed hiding a cookie behind their back and letting them know I love them regardless of the answer, rather than holding out my hand and demanding the cookie while accusing them, belittling them.
It’s bandaging their bloody knees and kissing them gently through their tears, rather than pointing out that I had told them that they were going to fall out of the tree and they should have known better.
I have been so guilty of being a Power Parent, rather than having powerful parenting. Powerful parenting isn’t the wielding of the power we have over our children. Powerful parenting is parenting through humbleness and compassion.
It’s so easy for all of us that have a position of leadership (whether a parent, a co-worker, etc.) to mistake what our power really symbolizes. It’s certainly not “lording” over those beneath us, but rather lowering ourselves to lift them up as well.
…and frankly…that is what true power is.
Categories: Diary entry June