Being a parent is one of the most important jobs in the world. I think we can all agree on that. One thing that may differ, is what is the most important aspect of our parental “job description.” If I polled you right now, I’d probably get a different answer from almost everybody. So how can we be effective and successful as parents if we don’t know our most important role?
The Father’s Role
When you think of the job of a father, the following may come to mind: provide for their needs, protect them from harm, discipline and correction, care for them, teach them how to respect others, or give them emotional support. I am sure you can add to the list. My question is which one of those roles is most important, or are they all of equal importance?
The Mother’s Role
The job of the mother may overlap some of the father’s jobs. In addition, the following may come to mind: nurture the children, educate the children, encourage the children, show them how to love, or provide food and nourishment. For some reason I think the list of a mother’s role can be much longer than the role of a father, as it seems the mother’s are the primary person when it comes to child rearing and childcare. Nonetheless each and every one of a mother’s roles is very important, but which, if any, is most important?
You Must Succeed In This Area
There may be different perceived roles for the father, and the mother. Yet, there is one role that both parents must share and be effective in doing. A parent can provide, protect, teach, nurture, feed, encourage, show love and respect, but if you don’t do the following then you may fail as a parent…
What is this most important job as a parent? It is to teach and prepare our kids to leave. Yep, that is it! Sometimes we don’t want to think of that, but it is vital! If we don’t prepare our kids to leave us and live life without us, then we could have done better as parents. Our kids are just passing through. We will always be their parents, and what we teach them will remain. One of my favorite bible verses teaches us this:
“Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6)
A key word in that verse is “go.” The training is to prepare them to go. We should love them, teach them, care for them and do all the various roles that we believe are necessary. But ultimately we MUST prepare them to leave and live their own lives.
Keep This In Mind At All Times
This is something that we should always keep in mind. How well am I preparing my child to leave me? There is no rush, but we also should not delay. If you have a newborn, enjoy them while you prepare them. If you have a teen, don’t be discouraged you can still prepare them as there is no set age for them to “leave” you. From the bottle, to the sippy cup, to the straw, to the cup, to the glass, as a parent this is what you were called to do. I encourage you to consider it, and do you very best!
Question: What ways can you prepare your children to leave you? Please share in the comment section below.