Last weekend, in the final week of the Sons and Daughters series, I pointed to the book Cleared For Takeoff as a resource that was incredibly helpful for Brenda and I as we navigated the challenges of parenting.
The author, Wayne Rice, writes about the 4 R’s that act as a foundation to success and happiness – not just for kids, but for adults, too. If you didn’t catch all the details, here they are…in my own words.

Respect:

  • Learn to respect…yourself and others.
  • Want respect? Give respect to yourself and others before getting respect.
  • Respect is earned – not through begging, pleading or demanding. Leaders and parents earn respect by establishing authority and being competent and consistent. When kids look to adults for direction and guidance but find it lacking, when the highest offices in the land resort to name calling and bullying each other like a half-baked adolescent…well, it’s no wonder so many are ambiguous about “adulting”. Who wants to become something or someone that you have no respect for?
  • People, including kids, need and want leaders to act like they know what they are doing. You don’t actually have to know what you are doing but you have to act like it even when you’re figuring it out as you go. Confidence instills confidence which creates security and security breeds respect in the source of that security.
  • Mutual respect creates an atmosphere of trust and freedom. It’s important but doesn’t mean that everyone has an equal amount of authority.
  • People and kids who are respected are more likely to be respectful.

Responsibility:

  • The attributes of a responsible person include being reliable, trustworthy, accountable, faithful, dependable, competent and capable. Follow through and finish! No one is born this way, it is learned behavior and the best place to learn it is in the home.
  • There was a day when rural living was the experience most kids had growing up. Families were large, not necessarily because parents liked kids, but because they needed them. As soon as they were old enough they were gathering eggs, milking cows, pulling weeds, slopping hogs…well, you get the picture. And if you grew up this way you know exactly what I’m talking about. Responsibility was not optional, but farm life isn’t a prerequisite for learning responsibility. Use your imagination with chores around the house and in the neighborhood.

Resourcefulness:

  • A resourceful person is a creative person, not necessarily artistic, but has developed the ability to problem-solve. A resourceful person looks at every problem as a challenge and is a flexible thinker that will persistently use both trial and error to find solutions. Rather than giving up, resourceful people find a way to win.
  • Help your kids, help your people, be resourceful by allowing for trial and error. Don’t spoon-feed the answers. Limit screen time. Give more time to play and creativity, to exploration and discovery. Diligent parenting and leadership is required. Laziness won’t do. Resourcefulness doesn’t come from good genes, it has to be encouraged, practiced and developed.

Reverence:

  • Reverence is a sense of wonder and awe. It is goosebumps from hearing great music, seeing the majesty of nature, gazing at stars ablaze in the night sky, smelling a rose or experiencing the mystery of birth. It is a sense of wonder that compels us to worship. Reverence is an appreciation of the sacred and the holy in all of life.
  • In our postmodern world where reverence in many arenas is missing or misplaced, there is a lack of purpose for something greater than ourselves. Confidence is lacking because we’re trapped by loneliness. Reliable, consistent authority is missing and so the motivation to live decent honorable, hopeful, eyes-on-eternity lives escapes us.
  • So teach your kids, coach your people, to live like beloved sons and daughters with reverence for the things of God. Reverence is the fire that gives respect, responsibility and resourcefulness their power.  
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