There is great difficulty in getting someone to understand that their own standards are unattainable for their co-workers. The optimistic side to that is that the individual is full of passion, is detail-oriented, and has high standards for their area of charge. However the negative can be a creation of an environment where they are the only ones who will succeed in the task. There is always a problem, an area where the co-worker fell short, where expectations were not met, and criticism is guaranteed.
When people are confronted with success being impossible, they often respond with apathy and will simply do their job to their own expectations. The same can be said for nearly every aspect of life including relationships and leadership. When we create unrealistic expectations, we set others up for failure. The establishment of such an environment in a family can result in the loss of a parent’s greatest opportunity: the training, discipling and instruction of their child.
What is a child’s love fixated on? Mom and Dad. To the child, mom and dad are the epitome of safety, love, trust, faithfulness, and guarantee of provision in an unknown world. It is apropos that the Lord utilized the faith of a child as those who will inherit salvation in Matthew 18:1-4:
“At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”
The child of God is completely reliant and trusting in His greatness for the fulfillment of all needs. The love that the child has for his or her parents is one that can be neglected or squandered and is something that Christian parents should strive to avoid. The role of the Christian parent is to disciple their children towards fixing their love on the Lord Jesus Christ (Ephesians 6:4). We should be able to tell our children about the greatest Father and the love He poured on us and the grace He gave us.
When Paul commands fathers in Ephesians 6:4 to “not provoke your children to anger…” we should understand that there is more biblical implication to this statement than simply driving your child to anger as if anger is the only emotional response that a parent can drive their children towards. What was done to make them angry? How did they become angry? What are they angry towards? The anger becomes all-encompassing when a father and/or mother willfully fails to cultivate and nurture their child towards the Lord. The love that the child had towards his or her parents has been squandered, neglected, and hindered because of the actions of the parents. The love of a child is a precious gift and is all they can give. What else does a child truly possess that’s not already owned by another? The question should be, “How can I cultivate an environment of love and nourishment for my child so that they will see the Lord through me?” The environment that our Heavenly Father provides His children is the environment we are called to provide to our children.
Our children are our greatest and most important responsibility as parents. We are the ones that they spend the most time with, they watch our every move and see us at our best and our worst. They react as we will react, they respond as we respond, and they prioritize how we prioritize. We will never get a second chance for raising our children therefore we should do all we can to raise them in a way that honors the Lord. May the Lord guide us as parents to foster and cultivate the love of our children towards love for their God and Savior, Jesus Christ.