Concept like accountability and responsibility aren’t really that popular, especially with children/students.  It is easier to do your own thing and not have to answer to anyone, but that’s not how life works.

Accountability is closely associated with two biblical concepts – submission and obedience.  If we are willing to be accountable, we are humble enough to submit to others and obey or serve them.  The apostle Paul said, “Submit to one another out of reverence to Christ.” (Ephesians 5:31) Submission is to not assert your own needs over someone else’s, but rather to meet the other person’s needs.  

Becoming accountable and responsible is a crucial part of growing up and becoming a mature, balanced human being.  Learning to be accountable and responsible is one important way anyone learns to put away childish things and become a mature man or woman.  

When we hold our children/students accountable, we teach them the principles of servant leadership that Jesus taught His disciples.  Jesus emptied Himself of His divine attributes so that He could become a servant, made in human likeness (Philippians 2: 5-10). Despite all the power at His command, Jesus taught and ministered as a servant leader, who set an example for His followers by His words and deeds.

Indeed, a good way to train children/students to be accountable and responsible is to set an example for them.  What happens if we try to become accountable to our children/students? This means that we are humble and submissive enough to give our children/students permission to “call us to account” when we act in an unloving, irresponsible manner.  As the children/students watch us be accountable, they will learn to be accountable. Role-modeling is an effective and powerful way to teach children/students accountability.  

Ultimately, we would like to teach our children/students to be accountable so that they develop the self-discipline which they need to live a happy and fulfilling life.  If they don’t have enough willpower to submit to somebody else, they can hardly develop enough willpower to submit to themselves.