I just came from chapel where Dan and I lead worship for the elementary students at our childrens’ school. Sometimes it is the best 30 minutes of my week! Lately, my son Jesse has been helping me lead the singing. He has a lot of musical talent and natural charisma. I love these traits … and they scare me to death.
As a parent, how do I steward this gift? I want all the world to see my son’s abilities. Wouldn’t it be great for him to be a shining light to ‘tweens everywhere about how awesome it is to live right, to love God and to love your family. Then I remember seeing the Jonas brothers on Oprah and I think, maybe I don’t want that.
We are Jonas Brothers fans at our house for the most part, but there was something inconsistent about the influences in their lives that I noticed on that day. During the interview portion of the show, the parents went on and on about how they want to raise men of strong character. But then they allowed their young teenage sons to stand on a stage singing love songs to hundreds of screaming teenage girls. Where is the consistency in that? I think it is a lot to expect a teenage guy to maintain control of his hormones when the girls are just walking past him in the hallways – why would we think they are going to handle this kind of exposure well?
As a parent then, I wonder, what is my responsibility? I would never tell Jesse he is only allowed to sing at church and anything else is out of the question. I want the best for him. I want him to be faithful with his gifts, sharing them with the world if that time comes. But I also don’t want to set him up to fail, send him out to a world who cares more about his marketability than his soul.
Parenting adds a whole new dimension to the Rare Rocks analogy. Now not only am I thinking about the sacred formation of my own life, but I’m also concerned about the same things for my children!