Dad: Leader and Limiter

Some dads want to lead but seldom say no. Some say no but seldom yes. One aspect of being a good leader is being a good limiter, who knows what boundaries to set—and when. As one leads there will come times when it is necessary to limit by placing boundaries, such as saying, “You can’t do this because I love you, and I want God’s best for you.”

It is possible that the child being led will not agree with it and may disobey. In this case, the limiter must be willing to administer some appropriate form of consequence. A boundary really isn’t a boundary unless there is a consequence for violating it, and “don’t do it again” doesn’t count. Many should read that last sentence again.

Being a limiter is less popular than being a leader and opens a leader up to criticism, but limiting is a necessary part of being a leader. (Frankly, being a leader is not always popular either.) I cannot lead effectively if I am not willing to limit. Good leaders are not afraid of placing appropriate boundaries around those they love and are leading.

“And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” (Genesis 2:16-17)