Words of Hope: Real Leverage

Dad understood leverage which can be a tough concept to grasp. In my opinion, Dad understood leverage so well on the basketball court which helped him understand the value of leverage in the home. In basketball, leverage is crucial to allow athletes an advantage. The same is true in the home. So many parents use the wrong leverage to give them an advantage—power, dominance, threats, money waved in the air as leverage. 

I remember several of Dad’s friends coming to him for counseling. They wanted to know how to get their children to be motivated for school, or especially God. They admired the relationship we shared and the joy we had at home. “I just can’t seem to get my kid to clean his room or be nice to his sister,” they would tell my dad with exasperation. 

Too often the men of these home wanted the fruit of Dad’s labor. They wanted the fruit without building the skill. Instead, they did what was easiest, what most homes do. They use the easiest leverage—physical strength to dominate their way through, monetary strength to extort their way through, or emotional leverage of cutting off or cutting out the student from their life until they obey.   

As these parents try and force or demand allegiance or obedience, they are always surprised at the immediate rebellion of their children.  

Dad understood the greatest leverage was love and love is always in the one on one. Dad listened, worked to be present, served, and helped create a relationship that would inspire me to run through brick walls for our family if needed.  

Dad also understood the power of including me in the vision and mission of life together. It wasn’t him dictating how my spiritual life should be in the home but him creating space to listen to my vision and working together to create something vibrant and meaningful. He also didn’t allow me to check out, do nothing, or give half effort or a sullen attitude. He used his leverage in relationality and my admiration of his life to help inspire and compel me in my life. 

And the LORD answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it. – Habukkah 2:2