When we think we own things, it is the beginning of pride. Ownership is essentially a lie, because God owns all, and we are the recipients of His gifts. When our paradigm is ownership, we inevitably compare what we have with what others have, and the results are envy, coveting, condescension, and a whole host of other win-lose mentalities and emotions. A much more true paradigm, and by far a more happy one, is stewardship. We are stewards over all things God has given. Even the things we have worked hard for and inclined to think we own. An attitude of stewardship turns everything into a win-win and gives us an accurate and spiritual lens through which to view the world.
And oh how much this applies to families, and to parenting, and to marriage. Parents who imagine that they own their kids–that they are their genetic creations and belongings–become the worst kind of parents, with lots of “power” and very little respect. On the other hand, when we think of ourselves as blessed stewards over our children, we respect them and love them in ways that nurture and help them to grow. Along with serendipity (last week’s show) stewardship forms the book-end attitudes of good marriages and good parenting.
The Eyres’ 24th book–Stewardship of the Heart (28th if we count second editions)–is essentially a celebration of the attitude of stewardship and of all it can do to enhance our parenting, our marriages, our relationships, and our happiness.