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Pom in Oz with Derek Goforth: As a Christian dad, it’s important I teach my kids the dangers of power abuse

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Kate CampbellMidwest Times
Christians will remember the death of Jesus Christ on Good Friday, and his resurrection on Easter Sunday.
Camera IconChristians will remember the death of Jesus Christ on Good Friday, and his resurrection on Easter Sunday. Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto/Getty Images/iStockphoto

As we approach Easter I feel the need to write a piece from a Christian perspective and what better to write about than my relationship with my children.

As a Christian dad, I believe that I have a responsibility to raise my children to be aware of the dangers of power abuse from a biblical perspective.

I feel it is important to teach them that those in positions of authority have been given their power by God and are called to use it for the good of others, not for their own gain or to oppress those under their care.

As we examine the Bible, we can see numerous examples of leaders who used their power for good and those who fell into the trap of pride and selfishness. King David, for example, started out as a humble shepherd boy but eventually became king of Israel. He initially ruled with justice and compassion, but later fell into sin when he abused his power and took Bathsheba as his own, leading to disastrous consequences for himself and his family.

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In contrast, the life and teachings of Jesus offer a powerful model of servant leadership and selflessness. He consistently modelled humility and compassion, teaching his followers to love their neighbours as themselves and to use their power and influence for the good of others. As a father, I strive to emulate this model of leadership in my own life, and to encourage my children to do the same.

Teaching our children about the dangers of power abuse can be challenging, but it is essential in today’s world. Our children are exposed to messages from the media and social media that often glorify power and status, and it is important for us as parents to counteract these messages. We can do this by reading and discussing Bible stories together, and by pointing out examples of power abuse in our own communities and in the world at large. I also believe this is not just restricted to “Christian” families, but these teachings are applicable to all of us.

As parents, we also have a responsibility to model ethical behaviour and to encourage our children to do the same. This means creating a home environment that promotes mutual respect, honesty, and kindness. We can do this by setting clear expectations for behaviour, by modelling forgiveness and grace, and by encouraging our children to stand up for justice and to use their own power and influence for the good of others.

One of the most important things we can do as parents is to teach our children to be discerning consumers of media — encourage them to critically evaluate the messages they receive from the media, and ask themselves whether these messages are consistent with biblical teachings. We can also teach them to identify and avoid media that glorifies power and status at the expense of others.

Finally, as Christian and non-Christian parents, we can remind our children that while the dangers of power abuse are real, there is always hope for redemption and transformation.

By teaching our children about the dangers of power abuse and the importance of servant leadership, we can help to raise up a generation of young people who are committed to using their power and influence for the good of others.

Derek Goforth is an expat of 13 years and father of three living and working in Geraldton

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