I woke up to the sounds of children fussing.
This is not unusual in my house.
The youngest and the oldest were at odds with each other.
As I listened to the 12-year-old bark at the 2-year-old, my past caught up with me, and a lesson was formed, one I would share in hopes that history would not repeat itself.
When I was 25 years old, I was an assistant manager for a department store. I was a recent college graduate, and I thought I “RULED THE NEST”; I let everybody know it. I was one of the meanest, red power suit wearing bosses in the history of working women. I didn't delegate, I dictated! What did it get me? Probably several nicknames I never want to hear. I made very few friends, but I'm sure I had lots of enemies.
That made me remember something else from my childhood. My dad was a police officer, but he wasn't your typical,” in your face I wear a badge, let me push my authority on you” law officer. I don't ever remember my dad being mean……to anyone, ever. One of his jobs was being in charge of the, “trustees,” (that's what they call people in jail). He gave everyone the benefit of the doubt. Instead of letting them sit all day in jail, he gave prisoners a chance to redeem themselves by getting outside, mowing, raking, washing cars, etc. He never said much. You just knew with him,” this is my chance, don't mess up.” If you did, you didn't get another chance, back to the cell you went. But I can bet very few ever messed up, and many were very appreciative that this man was kind and considered them as individuals who deserved good care, respect and a chance at redemption. Daddy was highly respected and leaves behind a legacy for future officers to hopefully follow in his footsteps.
I wish I had remembered that when I was playing, “rooster of the henhouse,” as a 25-year-old department store manager. The only legacy I left behind was, “Yay! she's gone! Good riddance.” I have nothing to show for those years except for all the grief I caused many people all for the sake of power.Now I'm a Mom,and my oldest daughter is almost a teenager. I see the same struggle in her as I had growing up. How do we delegate without dictating? How do you show you are in charge and responsible without coming across as a tyrant. So what's the answer? My husband tells the kids, “you catch more flies with honey than with vinager.”
That's it. That's the key: kindness, respect and patience and discernment.
Take a look at the people you admire most. Why do you admire them? More than likely you admire them for their character and their heart.
Take Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar for example. I watched Michelle Duggar give birth to one of the 19 on TV a few years ago. She wasn't screaming in agonizing pain, she was blessing God, praying and rejoicing over the new little one she was delivering. We never see them yell. I've never seen a mean side, and I can almost bet that what you see on TV is quite real with this family. Michelle and Jim Bob are very patient, very kind, very loving, very REAL on camera and off camera. This character has earned them respect with each other, their children, their family and nearly everyone who meets them. What is it they are really showing us? The heart of Christ. The greastest goal we can ever reach for is becoming more and more like Jesus Christ
My daughter will have to figure out for herself through her struggles and trials that to be like Christ is the key to everything. Having the heart, the compassion, the love, that will take you so far. Jesus never dictated. He was a friend…….. and leaves with all of us a living legacy that will last eternity. The best way to gain respect is to LOVE.
“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”
1Corinthians 13:13( NIV)
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