“Do you want to learn?” I ask Clifford as he cleaned the fan, take off it’s cover but put it back in the wrong way. He is 14yo.
“Yes.” He replied.
“Will you be teachable?” I ask another question.
“Yes.” He said.
“These two, to learn and being teachable goes together. If so then do not do something stupid. Because wanting to learn and being teachable is unattainable if you mix it with some stupidity.” He put a smile on his face listening.
“You are a grown man,” I added. “You should start acting responsibly. This is just cleaning a fan and you cannot put it back together in its rightful place how much more when you clean a house?” This is our normal life while we do things together. Equipping is a part of our daily life.
When it comes to ‘equipping’ the saints ‘for every good works’ (2Tim.3:16-17) we ask each of them their permission. Why? Equipping involves teaching, correction, rebuking and discipline. These cannot be interchangeable. You cannot correct when something or someone is wrong if you haven’t taught him something. You cannot rebuke unless you have corrected him first. And cannot discipline unless you did some rebuking. How can you say ‘I am wrong’ when you haven’t taught me what is right? Jesus said “much is given, much is required.” How can you require of something when you haven’t given me something?
When you pay something at the malls here the clerk would normally ask you “do you have an advantage card sir?” This is to give you some points. And I would jokingly replied, “did you gave me any card?”
Teach it how and if he didn’t get it and do it wrong, correct it. And if after correction he still not following it through, rebuke, say “don’t be stupid, don’t do your own thing, follow!” And if still he won’t do it right – discipline.
Example? We explain that smoking is not good for you. Specially here when we talk to each other and play with younger kids and mostly eat together, so we exchange spoons and forks and plates whenever we have meals together. But he still smokes after 2-3 weeks. Giving him time to decide for himself is important. But he still would not stop. “Ok, this time have your own plates, spoon and fork. And do you know what that means for you? Means that instead someone else is putting plates and spoon on your table and wash them, this time you yourself do it and you keep it somewhere and bring it over every meal. He still smoke anyway. “Ok, this time, you wash all the dishes every time we all eat.” Still he won’t listen? “I’ll limit your food intake.” And so on until you can finally kick him out! Why not?
If you cannot control yourself then someone will and you know what? You won’t like it.
“Isn’t the problem more on ‘spiritual’ than just vices?” Someone says to me as I shared this.
“Spiritual?” I answered back “or stupidity?”
He laughs. (Yeah, like you are now.)
Ask permission or else you can’t require him to listen to you. “Do you want to learn this and that?” “If you want, will you listen?”
Deeper question is: “do you want me to father/mother you?” Church is about fathering the next generation. Serving the next generation.