In this series so far, we have discussed the importance of not playing God in business situations – with your clients, with your employees, and in your profession. But this tendency to play God isn’t limited to the career world; it’s just as rampant on a personal level. To start off this deep dive into what it looks like to play God in your personal life, let’s focus on your relationship with your kids.
The Consequences Of Playing God
Up to this point, we have been discouraging you to play God primarily because of the ego trip involved. Ego trips inhibit your growth as a person, preventing you from developing finer character qualities. In a business situation, playing God often leads to self-deceit and the incorrect belief that you are running the show. You end up acting like a mini-tyrant and your spiritual development is squashed.
But there is an additional factor to consider: in many business situations, people easily get away with being a tyrant. There's just not enough of an incentive to become a better person and put yourself through the growing pains associated with self-improvement. Although we sometimes see tyrannical bosses paying a price for their behavior by getting fired, experiencing harassment accusations, and developing a reputation of being a jerk, none of these things seem to faze them. In their own mind, they are still a big somebody and all of the by-products of their actions are just the cost of them being themselves. To them, it’s worth it.
Paying The Personal Price
When it comes to your personal life, there is a much higher price to pay for being a tyrant and a whole lot more to lose. You can always get another job, start another business, and even rebuild your professional image, but you can't replace your kids. Losing them can be permanent. And a guaranteed way to lose your children is to play God with them and pretend that you are the ruler of their universe.
You might think that you would never go down this path, but when you have a young child who is solely dependent on you for many years, it’s extremely easy to fall into this role. You provide for them and can force them to do many things. For the most part, they can’t resist your wishes. Physically, and to a great extent emotionally, you are the center of their lives. You have a tremendous amount of power in this situation, and the pull to abuse is very strong. Tragically, many parents do just this. We all know men and women who turned into tyrannical fathers and mothers and basically blew their families apart with their attitudes and behaviors.
Fortunately, there is an instant cure for the insanity of parents playing God - accepting and realizing that you are but a junior partner in the creation saga.
Who Is Really In Charge?
When you stop and think about it, you and your spouse can't claim that the birth of your children was entirely up to you. For sure, the two of you formed the physical environment through which a new life could be formed, but when you decided to join together, you automatically engaged a third-party: the Creator of all that lives. Who, exactly, do you think designed the universe in such a way that when men and women have sex, a baby can be born?
The entire genesis of a new person is a rather astounding process that has clearly not been invented by people. Fertilization? Not a man-made process. Inception? Not man-made. Gestation? Nope. And on and on and on. You can start at birth and list every natural process that takes place throughout a lifetime - from growth, to maturity, to decline and death, with every biological and chemical process that takes place throughout each day - and you will see that this is not a man-made world at all.
What a humbling thought! You don't have to be a religious person to grasp that there is a Creator in charge of creation. All of us creatures are dependent on the life forces with which it has been endowed. That includes our kids and it includes us.
On the one hand, adults have a lot of power to wield over younger and weaker creatures like our kids. But at the same time, they are not our creatures to rule. We are no less dependent on the life with which our world has been endowed than they are. Just like our kids, we have to find a way to thrive in this world that is governed by natural processes. Whatever command-and-control we attain in our life, it is nonetheless subordinate to the One who designed all those processes in the first place.
A parent who understands that is going to let God be God, and content him or herself with simply being a parent and loving the children God gave to them.
Make The Changes Before It’s Too Late
Did this hit close to home? It’s not easy, is it? It takes a lot of self-reflection and maturity to accept your true role in your children’s lives. But without this reflection, you risk losing those you love most. If you commit yourself to avoiding an ego trip in your family life, your children will thank you someday. Would you like some more thoughts on playing God and how to avoid it? Contact me firstname.lastname@example.org or schedule a free 15-minute introductory phone call online to discuss this topic with me further!