Teach Initiative

“The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.” Acts 2:39 (NIV)


Last time we were together I shared about how working as an administrative assistant has given me the confidence to learn how to take initiative on my job and that has translated into other areas of my life as well.

Today I want to talk about another similar topic, one equally important in my opinion, and that is learning how to teach initiative to others. While one cannot force another person to step up and work with excellence, take pride in a job well done, or work with a strong work ethic, the “person in charge” is in charge to an extent of the atmosphere in which its employees work.

Most everyone, I’m sure, has experience being a part of a positive work environment as well as being a member of a negative work environment and I’m sure, if asked, could list off the pros and cons of each place.

In my opinion, as the mother of our household, it’s my responsibility to create a positive environment overall in our home and that translates as well into the area of chores and responsibilities. It’s my calling to train our children in the areas of the house that I am responsible for running smoothly – which include laundry, grocery shopping, cleaning, and cooking. Our kids have their assigned chores and overall our house runs fairly well; however, as I was thinking about the way I’ve gained confidence over the past few years, I asked myself if I was instilling that same confidence in our kids or if they had instead been taught from the standpoint of, “This is your direction, do it.”

We have busy lives, just like everyone else who’s reading this. A lot on our plate and a lot of balls we’re trying to keep juggling in the air. I soon (sadly) realized for the sake of “time,” and probably some laziness on my part too, I was more of a “drill sergeant” barking orders that I expected to be followed instead of someone who encouraged my children to look at a problem and figure out how to solve it themselves in a way that made the most sense to them.

I have decided I want to try and teach initiative instead. Since I’m relatively new at taking initiative myself, I might need a lot of grace and will have a few false starts and stops, but I believe that is the more biblical approach to parenting then my previous dictatorship has been. And more than anything, I want to model the type of relationship Jesus would approve of with my kids and my spouse.

For me, I had to learn how to take initiative before I could begin to embrace learning how to teach it. And while it won’t look perfect at the beginning, I hope with time it will become a regular part of our family dynamic.

© Cheri Swalwell 2019

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