I heard something yesterday that stirred me on the inside. I have never given advise on parenting on this blog, nor do I intend to. I will however, share a bit about what God has shown me through the struggles of raising our oldest, son Chris, who is now 18.
I won't give all the details, because, well, that would just take too long. So, lets just sum it up with--being Chris's parents has been hard, challenging, heart wrenching, overwhelming, and exhausting! I had my wonderful son at the age of 16, when he was 4 I married my husband, who adopted him. It started rough, only in the past year and a half has it gotten better.
Okay, there's some background, now to my point. As God began showing me about his grace and love in my life, I began to realize that there just might be something wrong with the parenting style I had been introduced to upon becoming a believer. Sure, it was probably better than the style I had previously held, which was getting frustrated, yelling and then yelling some more. I had NO IDEA what I was doing.
I did become more of a disciplinarian. I began instilling action, consequence type discipline, became more consistent, and had more "control" over my children (2 at the time ages 7 and 2 #3 on the way). However, none of this "control" seemed to really help with my son.
It was a viscous cycle of bad behavior followed by consequences, followed by him performing what I like to call "behavior modification" for awhile, then back to the beginning. As my son grew in age and I grew closer to the Lord, I began to see that this is not how my Father deals with me. He is not simply trying to control me. He is after my heart. If He has my heart my behavior will reflect our relationship.
When the Holy Spirit gave me this revelation it changed me, and was the beginning of a completely new season in my parenting. I am still learning, still growing and still seeing signs of my old parenting, but when I do, I turn them over to the Spirit and He works in me.
So, by now you are probably wondering what it is I heard that sparked this post. I was listening to a podcast from www.lifestream.org, there guests that day were the authors of "Loving Your Children on Purpose". They were talking about a lot of the same stuff I felt God had shown me about parenting and I was already intrigued, when I heard them say this, "It is not our job to control our children, but our job to teach them to control themselves." I LOVE this statement!! When I heard this my Daddy whispered to my heart and I think, I am changing again.
I have ordered this book and expect to receive it soon. I will share more when I have read it.
Lets Talk Grace! What do you think about this statement? Do you see any flaws in a action, consequence style of parenting?
I would like to see Grace Talk become a safe place for us to have discussions. Please leave a comment, and then check back, I will try to reply to your comments. If you have a comment for another commenter, please leave that as well. I believe one of the ways we learn and grow is through our discussions and encouragment with one another. Lets Talk Grace!
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