Ask any combat veteran what got them through the hell we call war and most will tell you a story of camaraderie, Intestinal Fortitude and a great leader.
The veterans of WWII's Easy Company all speak highly of the exceptional leadership of Dick Winters, the companies senior officer.
- Exceptional Courage
- Never asking his men to perform a task he would not do.
- Putting his men's needs in front of his own.
- Strict adherence to moral attributes and values.
- Setting the example and leading the way.
- Grace and Humbleness about his actions.
When interviewed about his acts of heroism for the HBO Series Band of Brothers, Winters quoted a letter stating:
"'I cherish the memories of a question my grandson asked me the other day when he said, Grandpa, were you a hero in the war?' Grandpa said 'No… but I served in a company of heroes…"
More than anything today, our children need leaders. Physical, Spiritual and Emotional Leaders and this is the job of the father.
Study after study shows that a fathers presence, actions and example (or lack thereof) has the greatest amount of influence on our children. It determines the type of men our boys become and the type of men our daughters will marry.
Our society today is lacking in positive male role models. This must change.
We must strive to become leaders in our home, our marriage and in the lives of our children.
Parents of spiritual champions exhibited these leadership traits:
- The children realized who was in charge
- The parents led and made decisions
- They excepted responsibility for failures in the family
- They meet the emotional, spiritual and physical needs of their children
- They subtly helped solve problems but raised problem solving children
- They reinforced the spiritual claims, and morals and values by their own example not only by their words.
Children learn by example and modeling, NOT by our words. We need to be a living example daily of the life and character traits we wish to instill in our children.
In my opinion, Permissive Parenting, is this biggest failure and cause of juvenile problems, depression and anxiety in our children today. Followed next by Overprotective Parenting which is highly contagious in our Christian society. Sorry, no more ranting, this will be covered in the next series...
Further leadership traits of parents who raised spiritual champions were:
Staying calm in the midst of chaos
Holding their tongue at appropriate times
Not fighting their kids battles for them at school, sports or socially.
If a parent blows up on a child, apologizing later, explaining the reasons why and asking for forgiveness.
Explaining the moral and biblical reasons why your family lives and believes the things it does. The "Do As I Say" parenting style does not work with the savvy kids of today.
Children need parents who are strong moral leaders in their own lives, they need to see their parents living and setting the example of a Godly, Christian life and they need parents who are committed to instilling these traits in their children.
In conclusion, I hope this series has opened some eyes and got some heads nodding in agreement. I struggle daily to uphold all these traits and pray every night to be the example and leader in my childrens lives.
If we as parents are not the leaders and examples in our childrens lives, someone or something will take our place. The media, peers, society and secular views are all fighting to take this leadership role from us.
We need to step up, take back our faith and live our lives as if Jesus was walking beside us.
-Esse Quam Videri-