Have you ever watched as a young girl is ‘made up’ by her mom, being introduced to makeup, rouge, eyeliner, and lipstick while still an innocent little girl? Then she’s told how beautiful she is, not because she is, but because she (or her mom) are trying so hard.
Have you been to a little league game and watched as the dad screams his delight for his son’s base hit or home run? High fives everywhere as he slides in and scores.
I’ve lived long enough to see some of those young boys and girls become men and women. And I’ve come to see that you get what you glorify!
When we spend countless hours and countless dollars dressing our children and adolescents to the nines, we’re going to get consumers when they grow up. When the only thing our sons get glory for is sports performance, we’re going to get jocks when they get older. Or at least big-time sports fans.
Nothing wrong with clothes or makeup. Nothing wrong with sports.
But be aware of what you’re glorifying in your kids.
In my lexicon, the word glorify is interchangeable with the word praise. So, what you praise in your kids is what they’ll pursue themselves as they grow up. If you praise vanity, don’t be surprised when they grow up focused on how they look and what they wear. If you praise your son’s competitiveness, don’t be shocked when he grows up to want more than his friends and have a drive to win at all cost.
Instead, consider glorifying your child’s kindness for others. Catch them doing something for their brother or sister. Praise them for it. Catch them being kind to an animal, helping their mom, trying extra hard to get their homework done and done right. Glorify them for praying, reading the Bible, asking about Jesus, and giving money to the church, to charities or to the poor.
Remember, you’re always leading. The question is to where.
Lead by glorifying what you hope to get when your kids grow into adulthood.
Scripture: Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it. (Proverbs 22:6)
Mentor Tip: This same principle applies to your mentees . . . you can praise them when they get promotions or accomplish things but remember to offer your praise for sharing their struggles, for being good dads, and especially when they ‘pay it forward.’