DeAlquilerImagine my shock when I saw this sign!

“Esposas de Alquiler” means “Wives for Rent” while “Maridos de Alquiler” means “Husbands for Rent.” They’re renting out wives and husbands here in Costa Rica?!

I asked my neighbor Alma about this, and she rolled her eyes as she explained to me the nature of this business. If you need someone to cook for you or clean your house, this office can send a lady over. Presumably, these are chores that wives are good at. On the other hand, if you need a handyman to repair some things in your house, they can send a man over. What a relief to know that this was not about spouse rental! (The business name is an example of outdated stereotypes; nonetheless, it is quite catchy.)

I have no problem with delegating household chores. My father was an overseas contract worker when I was growing up; he was always out of the country. And so, when things needed fixing at our house, my mother called a plumber, or an electrician or a carpenter. I’ve never been a handyman, and so I won’t be embarrassed to call “Maridos de Alquiler” if there’s a very real need for one at our apartment.

However, there are responsibilities that we just can’t delegate. Parents, for example, have the responsibility of teaching values, especially biblical values, to their children. Unfortunately, some parents have abdicated this responsibility. They rely on the church or schools for their children’s values education. While parents should partner with the church and school teachers in the children’s values formation, the Bible clearly points out who has the primary responsibility: “Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4 NIV).

Parents, especially fathers, have a God-given responsibility to oversee the spiritual formation of their children. Your mission in life involves teaching your children so that they could become maturing and multiplying disciples of Christ in this world. Do you have a teaching plan in place? Write me or to your pastor if you need ideas to get started.

But remember this: in raising your children in the training and instruction of the Lord, there are no “Padres de Alquiler” (Parents for Rent). Parents, this is your responsibility.

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