Recently, on a Daddy/Daughter date, I asked Alyssa to describe the purpose of a report card. Her answer was, in summary, so the teacher could tell the parents the progress of the student, what’s going well and what needs improvement. “Exactly right.” I said. It was then that I presented her a unique opportunity: the chance to “grade” me. “How am I doing as a father and a husband to mom?” Her eyes quickly grew to the size of saucers as she smiled with a nervous excitement. It took a little reassurance that, as long as she was respectful, she had the freedom to speak honestly. And then, she did.
In the 15 minutes that followed, I was provided an honest assessment from a seven year old’s perspective. I learned a lot – everything from how I expressed love and, more importantly, how my kids wished I would – to how my daughter sees me as a husband, father and Jesus follower. Unfiltered and unrehearsed and so beneficial.
It’s been said, “if you don’t want to hear the answer, don’t ask the question.” However, if you ARE ready, here are some questions to consider asking:
- How do you know I love you?
- (to your kids) How could I improve as a father/mother?
- (to your spouse) In what area of our marriage could I support you better?
- How would you describe me to your friends?
- When is the last time I hurt your feelings? (be prepared to apologize)
Let’s be honest, no-one likes to be critiqued, however, in our effort to be better husbands, wives, fathers, mothers and Jesus-followers, it’s to our benefit to get an outside evaluation in love and with the right motive.
Matthew 23:12 “Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.”