I don’t know about you, but I make plenty of mistakes as a parent. I recently made a big one with our daughter where I did something to break her trust. It wasn’t the first time I have done it, and, for some reason, I keep stumbling into the same situation. After I had done it and apologized, she rightfully shared her frustration that “here we are again.”
As I had another tough conversation with her and told her I was sorry, it dawned on me that this was a much bigger issue than I thought. If I’m honest, in the past when I’ve made this mistake I’ve subconsciously thought, “This really isn’t a big deal. Why is she even frustrated about this?” Boy was I wrong! At its’ core, this is an issue of trust, which is an incredibly big deal. There are a few things that I am processing and wondering as I think through the situation.
I’m teaching her that she can’t trust others – which is sometimes true.I learned at an early age that people are always going to let you down and I had to figure out how I was going to deal with that when it happened. But, do I want my daughter going through life wondering if she can trust people she is close to?
I’m teaching her that she can’t trust me – which I don’t want to be true!As her dad, I need to be one of the three people in the world (our immediate family) that she knows she can trust beyond the shadow of a doubt. I want for our relationship to be strong and for her to know that I am always in her corner.
If I’m teaching her that she can trust her earthly father, will she transfer that to not being able to trust her heavenly father?I really hope not! Many people have a hard-enough time trusting God and none of us should be contributing to the question of whether or not he is trustworthy. We can trust God with everything, and I desperately want my kids to know and feel that.
As a father, I can’t be perfect. No one can and I thank God for forgiving me for that. When I fall short and hurt people, I need to honestly repent and ask for forgiveness from both God and the people I’ve offended. As I grow as a person and a leader, I also need to make sure that, to the best of my ability, I do what I say I will do. I need to prove to her (and others) that I can be trusted – I want for her to never doubt that. I need to have integrity in my words and actions, both because that’s how God has called me to live and because I want to live in harmony with those I love the most. I need to work not to break trust, but to build it.