Sitting on the balcony overlooking the beach on Fathers’ Day yesterday morning, I witnessed a seemingly insignificant event. It grabbed my attention. I think it was because of recent and recurring headlines around infidelity and broken trust. As I watched pure trust exhibited by a four-year-old little girl, my heart broke for those who have had it shattered or taken away.
Father and Daughter
I watched from the balcony as a dad had brought his three children to the beach, early on Sunday morning – Fathers Day. He had set up the tent and chairs, laid out the toys, and removed his shirt to head into the surf. Two of his three children followed. They were older.
The youngest, maybe four years old and in pig-tails, lingered back at the tent. She was clearly watching him, but seemed determined to stay near the safety of the tent pole she clung to. Though he called her several times, she did not move.
I watched him, wondering what he would do next. That’s when he sat down in the surf, at the very edge where the waves were running up onto the sand. He called out to her as he spread his arms and legs to welcome her with a hug, but she still did not move…at least not at first.
After coaxing her for a minute or so, she began to ease away from the safety of the tent. Slowly, and with clear hesitation, she took short steps toward him. Still unsure, she stopped several times, but would start moving again at his calling to her. Finally she drew close enough to make the final leap into the security of his arms. She held tight!
As I watched this, a couple of thoughts flooded my mind. First, I wish my girls were still that age for a day! I love the relationship we have now, but it is hard to beat the scene that just played out in front of me. Second, I had just witnessed the purest exhibition of trust. That is the core essence of fatherhood, if you ask me.
We Must Be Trustworthy
I see it this way. It is our job as fathers to live in such a way as to encourage and build the trust of our children. Sure, we are to teach them about life, love, and above all, about Jesus. I am not minimizing those responsibilities. But if there is no trust, these teachings are going to fall on deaf ears.
So when I read in the news about fathers who have broken this trust for a fling with someone other than the mother of their children, I get angry. When I see fathers compromise their integrity for the sake of fleeting fame, fortune, or power, I think of their children. What are the kids to think when their father says one thing and then does another?
Trust At Work
For that matter, what are our employees to think? If it is critical for us to build trust with our children, the same principle holds true for our employees. We must live out our lives and do our jobs in a way that protects our integrity, regardless of the cost to ourselves. We do not have the right to trade off our integrity for some fleeting, shiny object that the world dangles in front of us. Instead, we are to stand firm with integrity.
I am fortunate and thankful to have grown up with a father like this – one who has always been fiercely committed to his integrity. I hope to finish the race as a father like that for my children. For the same reasons, I want to be that kind of leader in the workplace as well. I pray for that strength regularly.
What about you? Are you trustworthy? Do you see the necessity of living in a way that encourages and builds trust? Is there anything God is saying to you in this area of your life?
Pay attention. You can trust Him.