Sam and I have been playing a new game called Super Hero Squad Online (SHSO) and we’ve been having a lot of fun. It’s based of the Marvel comics Super Hero Squad which is a version of the regular comics adapted to a child level. Each day there is a different mission to play which pits you against various villains (Magneto, Dr. Doom, etc) and you have a choice of super heroes to choose. The game offers some cute carrots to draw kids attention and is all around a fun time. But what does this have to do with trust? Well..My schedule on Sunday is pretty bad right now – I get off of work and drive straight to church to be there in time for praise team practice. Then all the church stuff happens and we finally leave around noon; get home, have a little lunch, and finally lay down for a little nap. It’s a rough day, but I enjoy it and the work, and there is nothing I’d rather be doing. Hannah will sometimes lay down and nap with me and that leaves the kids to have the run of the house. They are allowed to play games, read, watch TV and they do a good job of staying out of trouble and letting us get some much-needed rest.

One Sunday not too long ago I told Sam that while we were napping he could run the daily mission and spend his tickets (they have a little prize wheel you can spin which rewards various things, and you get one spin per ticket, and earn a variety of tickets based on how well you did in the mission) but then he had to turn it off. I don’t know what it was about this particular day but I asked him, “Can I trust you?” He responded that I could and he would do exactly like I asked and I went to have some rest.

When we got up from our nap I was asking Sam about the mission, the prizes he won, and he was very eager to tell me all about. I love having something in common like that that we both enjoy and can do together. Things were going swell when he said, “…and the second mission…” Uh oh, Houston we have a problem. I asked him how many missions he had done and he said in a sad little voice, “Two,” and he knew that he was in trouble. So we had a little chat.

His response was that he didn’t think it was a big deal and that it was only one more mission than I had said, and what was the big deal? There is something to be said for the reasoning of a six-year-old and it was a very mature response to the situation, however, it was still a matter of trust. I explained to him that I had specifically asked if I could trust him and he had agreed to just the one mission. He could have bargained, bartered, begged to be allowed more, but he agreed to the rule of just one, and he didn’t stick with it. I explained that I was upset and I said to him that I want him to grow up to be a man who can be trusted, and that it starts with the little things. It reminds of the parable that Jesus told in Matthew 25:14-30 which is the parable of the talents. Each of the servants had been entrusted with a particular talent from their master, and in the end when they were faithful they were rewarded with more. It’s this same type of principle that I want to teach my children. While it may have only been a little thing I want our children to be faithful in the little things, then as they get older I can trust then bigger things.

In the end I know that Sam understood and I’ve seen a marked improvement in his actions around the house and outside. While it may not have been a big deal in the grand scheme of life, by taking this chance to teach him responsibility and trustworthiness now, it will hopefully be a lesson that he can avoid later in life.