Webster's 1828 Dictionary of American English defines trust as:
Confidence; a reliance or resting of the mind on the integrity, veracity, justice, friendship or other sound principle of another person.By virtue of our postion as parent, our children trust us. They trust us to to teach them what really matters in life, how to form and maintain relationships and what our God is like. This trust does not come by sound principle. Our children do not observe how often we follow through on our promises, how fair our discipline is and how we talk about fellow church members in the car on the way home to decide whether or not we are worthy of their trust.
I once worked with a young man who hated his mother. She was an alcoholic and spent much of her time passed out on the couch. He snuck into his neighbor's house in order to steal food to feed himself and his brothers. He was never short of angry words toward his mother and her alcohol abuse. He couldn't believe anything she said, yet he trusted her. She taught him basic principles about how the world works: that you cannot rely on other people, you take what you can get and you escape from your problems through alcohol. As much as he verbally despised her, he trusted her enough to blindly follow her example.
Whether we like it or not, we lead our children on the path of righteousness. We cannot set them before us and tell them to hurry on ahead. Our children trust us enough to follow us down the same path we choose. Carole Adams of the Foundation for American Christian Education describes trust as the second spiritual need of the child. She says children "...must develop trust in the character of the key adults in their lives." A character worthy of trust is key. If we have a character worthy of trust, one which is defined by "love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance," (Galatians 5:22-23) our children will learn to emulate these principles in their lives and esteem them in the lives of others.
Rather than earning their trust, we will be demonstrating the sound principles upon which our children's confidence can be laid. Our children have been committed into our trust and we have a great responsibility to lead accordingly.
trust, parenting, Christian, children, homeschooling, relationships