Anime Today: Discipling and Parenting, Saitama-Style

One of the (many) funny aspects of One Punch Man is the relationship between Saitama and Genos. With very different (and equally clueless) personalities, the two are quite a match. Genos adopts Saitama as his mentor early in the series, but despite their closeness, the two never seem to be on the same wavelength. In particular, Saitama struggles with figuring out how to train Genos.

opm 1b

It’s not easy being a sensei. I know how Saitama feels – it’s the way I’ve felt in lots of relationships, as manager to employee, discipler to disciplee, and parent to child.

In my workplace, I’ve recently added a couple new staff members. They have their quirks, as do we all, but one in particular is difficult to work with. My usual management techniques are lost on him, and I’ve had to learn to adjust. In fact, I’m still trying to adjust. I often feel like I have no idea what I’m doing.

Discipleship can also be similar. Last year, I really invested in the lives of two young men and the discipleships went really well. The two guys were hungry for God and eager to meet with me, and that encouragement helped me along in my instruction. This year, however, my duo is more challenging. It’s sometimes tough to get beneath the surface of my current disciplees, and I’ve been discouraged on multiple occ

asions. I often wonder if I know what I’m doing – and to be honest, my response is often that, really, I don’t.

opm 1a

But most of all, this “I have no idea” mentality shines through in parenting. If you’re a parent, you’ve felt the same (and if you aren’t yet, you will. Trust me, you will). Even after years, i still don’t know what I’m doing much of the time. And sometimes I travel down some path that I later realize isn’t where I want to be, isn’t scriptural, and is too influenced by my own pride or worldly thoughts and advice.

I wonder, though, if there’s purpose and meaning in ignorance and confusion. If I can just separate the pride I have in thinking I know exactly what’s right for my children, then I’ll be forced to admit that which I’ve been writing about all along – that ultimately, I’m sometimes overwhelmed and frequently at a loss. Too often, I just don’t know what to do.

But I love (and hate) being broken down. I need to be broken down. Because in humility, I find wisdom. And in weakness, then I can find strength.

And He has said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.’ Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.

– 2 Corinthians 12:9 (NASB)

So perhaps a joy of parenting (and of managing and discipling) is in the knowing that you don’t know. So let’s stay humble. Let’s continue to grow. And maybe we’ll find that not knowing all the answers is a vital part of “grade A” parenting and discipleship after all.

cover image reprinted w/permission (art by silvertea –  pixiv)

3 thoughts on “Anime Today: Discipling and Parenting, Saitama-Style

  1. Thanks for sharing your connection to this show, Charles 🙂 Saitama’s feeling of loss with how to treat Genos felt so familiar to me since I taught college freshman-sophomores for a few years and often felt like I had nothing more to impart to some of the students. It’s what helped me realize that I didn’t want to go in that direction; it’s also part of why I don’t currently want kids. Raising another human being just sounds terrifying to me, and I commend you for being a father to not only your children, but also to your followers.

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  2. I read this when it was first posted & failed to comment then. As a Dad, I find myself constantly in situations like Saitama wondering, “What am I supposed to do here?” Babies don’t come with manuals. And they definitely don’t give you updates to the manual as they age.

    I rely heavily on the Lord for wisdom as I know I do not have all the answers…

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