I have been walking my four year old son through biblical leadership these days and he has been responding wonderfully. He has learned that boys never hit girls and he rarely has a moment where he is outwardly tempted to hit is six or two year old sisters. Whether or not he is tempted in his heart is another story, but I have been very encouraged by his self-control and discretion. Haydn, my son, knows that how he currently treats his mother and sisters is a future snapshot of how he will treat his wife and he has embraced this concept and is responding well.
He holds the door open for his mother and sisters wherever we go. He rarely forgets. He will typically run ahead of us to get the door. Sometimes he can’t get it open, but he does understand what he should do with it when he gets there. In most cases he will choose discretion and deference when it comes to who goes first. He knows it’s “Ladies first.” Well, we have some work in that area, but he understands what is right though his personal interests at times can get the best of him. I’m still working on that one myself.
He picks up his little sister and totes her to the potty to help her get on the toilet. She is “in process” as far learning to use the toilet and Haydn enjoys serving her this way. He will warn his little sister of certain dangers that are ahead and he does this in humble tones rather than hollering at her. He’ll let her know if she is about to get into trouble by her sinful response to a situation. He has learned what is right and wrong in certain matters and is thoughtful enough to pass on to his sister what he has learned the hard way. I’m not sure why he isn’t as careful about letting his older sister know these things.
Recently he has learned how to turn the washer on. He loves to vacuum and does a fairly good job dusting. He also has become somewhat adept at folding clothes.
He also is very quick to repent. We are currently teaching him to be specific in identifying his sin as part of his repentance and when he does “repent” that he name the sin he is repenting of. He has a tender conscience and broad awareness of sin. These are all good things. And I would want anyone to know about these good things, because that is the starting point with anyone when you begin to talk about them. I know that we all get it wrong, but it seems most helpful to remind ourselves of the times we get it right more often than surfacing a list of ways we get it wrong. Encouragement is a wonderful starting place.
All in all, my son is growing in his leadership capacities and I really do not have a complaint. However, it was a bit humorous recently when the three of them were sitting at the kitchen bar and Haydn was wolfing down some cereal. My two daughters had no food before them and were patiently waiting on someone to serve them. We happen to be talking about marriage, leadership and serving and in-between shoveling Haydn reminded me, “Daddy, I’m a good leader.”
I couldn’t help but laugh as I looked in his nearly empty bowl and then to his two sisters who had not a morsel before them. I tried to winsomely remind Haydn that his “two wives” would like to be served and a good leader would provide for them before he fed his own belly. He got it and all of us had a good laugh. My next goal is to take heed to my own advice.