I have a garage full of hand tools. And they are not cheap ones either. Many are Craftsman, Snap-On, and Mac brands. They are plenty of electric saws and drills too. As I surveyed my collection today, I realized that I had inherited a vast majority of my collection from my father. He was an outstanding craftsman. He could build most anything with great precision. I did NOT inherit such genes. Precision and attention to minute details are not strengths for me. But I have the tools out there, and I use them to the best of my ability.
I am proud of the fact that I am still using a pair of Snap-On pliers my dad probably purchased before I was born. But more importantly, I hope I will leave my sons with tools that have no brand name. They were not blessed with a father who can build anything or repair anything. I am well aware of my limitations.
Here are some tools I hope I have given my children:
The Ability to Work
I know this sounds really basic. But there a lot of adults out there who are not unemployable. They don’t know how to function on a job of any kind. (And by the way, I am a proponent of helping such individuals.) I hope I instilled in my children the ability to work in all kinds of settings with all kinds of people. And I hope they will do so with a good attitude. The ability to work is a life tool.
The Capacity to be Thankful
There are a lot of ungrateful and downright entitled people out there. They lack the life tool of being thankful. My parents gave me this tool in all sizes. Being grateful and not whining was drilled in my head on a daily basis. I tried to use the same drill with my boys and bore deep holes in their very being in regard to being thankful.
The Tool of Independence
I worked in an old school full-service gas station in college. We had customers in their 30’s who were still charging gas their father every week. This was a weekly routine for several. My boys were given the tool of independence in purposed increments, as they grew up. And I think that’s a tool that will serve them well for the remainder of their adult lives.
The Ability to Think
The ability to think is an important tool. I don’t want my boys to be followers who can’t think on their own. Being able to think critically is a tool you will end up grabbing out of the toolbox in a moment’s notice. It’s one that will be used over and over again.
My kids were given tools that will lead to faith formation. They know their Bibles very well. They were exposed to people of faith from all over the globe. The tools are there. And I think they will find they will draw on the spiritual tools that were given to them for the rest of their lives.
I know my kids missed out on lots of important tools they needed. I was and I am still lacking in so many areas. What are the tools you are giving your children?