Thursday, June 25, 2009

Loving on Purpose

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!

18 comments:

Ana V. Rios said...

I can relate to what you are talking about. I was a young mother too and had no idea of how to take care of a child, so I read lots of books on this. As I think back I know I was too hard on my daughter, she had behaviorial problems at home and school. At the time I did not have a relationship with God, as I am trying to develop a better one now. I wish I had, I feel I pushed my daughter too much in trying to teach her right from wrong. I needed to have used a different approach, be more patient, less scolding, etch. I think I was just stressed about being a parent and making sure I taught her the right values, discipline,etc. When I had my other daughter, it was totally different, but again, she had another type of personality and did not have behaviorial/discipline problems my oldest did, so this helped.

Daveda said...

Ana, I used to think all children should come with a manual LOL. Because yes, they are all so different. All three of my boys have completely different personalities.

Now, I think we have something better than a manual, we have the Holy Spirit. He can guide us and lead us as we guide and lead our children. And He can remind us of our righteousness when we mess up, and we will mess up!

There are a LOT of parenting books and helps available, but I have come to think that many of them, even the ones in the Christian circle, seem to lack the heart of the Father. They seem to just touch on how to get your children to act outwardly, the way you want. Sadly, this bypasses what I have come to believe is the most important element in parenting, the relationship and the heart.

Lisa said...

Hi Daveda,

I think that our parenting styles can change during the different seasons of our lives. I know that when I was first going through a divorce, I allowed my younger son to get away with much more than he should have. Bought him gifts, and just tried to make him forget about the fact that his parents were getting divorced. Now that's it's almost 5 years later, I am a lot harder on my boy but he respects me A LOT more too. I know that if we seek His direction, God will guide us through these seasons of life.

Love ya bunches!
Lisa

RCUBEs said...

Hi sister Daveda. One task for parents that is hard is when it comes to disciplining our children. We differ in our styles and techniques. But I think the bottom line will come down to one purpose: is for us, parents to help our children grow, not provoke nor exasperate them to anger or discouragement. Anger nor frustrations shouldn't be the causes for discipline. We should always act in love, the way our own Parent does to His children, which you mentioned, too as the Holy Spirit revealed things with you. God bless.

Amy said...

Daveda,
Ah...yes! I, too, loved Wayne and Brad's most recent Podcast with Danny Silk and his wife. I believe that tomorrow, Part 2, will be available to hear from them. "Loving on Purpose" sounds like an excellent book, and I believe I'll get it sometime. Although I am not yet married (hope to be!) nor have children, I truly want to be a good mother to my husband and my kids.

I believe Danny's method for parenting was excellent. Truly, to help children make choices and understand they will have either positive or negative consequences truly teaches kids how to live in the world. Raising kids this way IS love.

Great post, my friend!

P.S. I have added your blogpage to my Blogroll!

Blessings,
~Amy :)

Kee said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kee said...

Once again, great post my friend. I'm fairly new to the parenting thing, mine are 5 and 2. But rececntly have seen this work with my son who is 5. I try to explain to him why it is not appropriate to talk back to adults and what behaviors makes me, his father and his heavenly father proud of him.
I of course did not think any of this was sinking in until the other day when I had told him to do something and he had not. I went in his room and said "I thought I told you to...., his immediate response was "Well I thought I told you, and then he stopped himself before I had to say a word and said, I know that is talking back, what I meant to say is, I forgot and was about to do it."

I was proud of him because all the times I talk to him about respect and what God expects of us, I don't think he is listening but it does get through and it may not be his first response right now but he catches himself.Let me know when you get the book, it may be one worth having in my library.

Now, my 2 yr old we will not even discuss her at this time, all I can say is please pray! :)

Daveda said...

Lisa,
I agree that for different reasons we can find ourselves altering our parenting style.

I too did that very thing you spoke of with my oldest when he was younger. I think I felt like he had already lost so much because his biological father was not in the picture, so I overcompensated.

It did not do him ANY good, and as you said it is not a way to create a relationship that has respect in it.

I hope to continue to see the heart of God in my parenting, and continue to learn to parent them with the same love and correction that He parents me in.

Daveda said...

RCUBE, Yes, it is about helping them grow. It is about helping them learn the Fathers love for them and teaching them that they too can hear his voice. When they can hear from Him and are building a relationship with Him then the Holy Spirit will teach them and work in their hearts!

Shanda said...

I've experienced that statement in parenting my daughter. One night we had gone through the poor choice, consequence, behavior modification, another poor choice, another consequence...it wasn't until she saw me (I thought she was asleep) kneeling at her bedroom door in tears praying about how to reach her heart that she broke down and realized her need for real change.

They have to be able to see our heart and love for them in order for them to understand why we are trying to correct them or help them to the path of growth. It is a heart to heart connection.

There is no real change in a person unless you get to the heart of the issue. Even with Christianity; if you are just "going through the motions" of how a good Christian should act and never truly understanding God's love and grace for you; your life is not really changed for the long haul.

Just as we can rest in the love and grace of God; our children need to be able to rest and trust in our own love and grace toward them. God is the ultimate parent.

I praise God that when I fail as a parent to my children; He doesn't. And thank God that He gave the Holy Spirit to continue to lead/train me/us how to control ourselves. I am ever growing in that area in my own parenting.

Listening is the main area that He has been prompting me in as of late. "Listen, hear them - really hear the heart behind what they are saying..." seems to be a thought I have daily.

I'm believing God for great things in Chris's life. The best is yet to come.

Daveda said...

Amy, I am sure you will be wonderful at both, being a wife and a mother. I am sure because I believe that you have an understanding of Gods love as a free gift, not something that is earned. We can only give away what we have received.

I think the reason my parenting has changed is because I have grown closer to the heart of God, and I no longer feel like I am under the "law", so I am not putting them under it either.

I love Wayne and Brads podcast! I saw Wayne recently at a conference in Tulsa and his teaching really touched my heart. So much freedom in it.

Thanks for adding me to your page. I have you on my blog roll as well, I am enjoying your blog!

Daveda said...

Kee, showing our children unconditional love is so important. I now realize that when I have a situation with one of my children I need to ask the Holy Spirit "How do I handle this in a way that will bless, not break my relationship with my child, while enforcing truth."

One of the things that I believe really helps me in my own home here, is that my children know my love for them is not based on what they do, but who they are. Because of this my love never changes.

I think children find much security in knowing even if I mess up, mom and dad will still love me. Not that we are to condone or allow bad behaviors but that those bad behaviors will not change our love. Like our Fathers love toward us. It is forever growing and changing us, it is a safe love that we can run to, not from.

Thanks for sharing about your son. It just goes to show that they hear and register more than we think they do.

Daveda said...

Shanda, Amen, I agree with every word! It is so important to see our children as people. People with there own thoughts and ideas. People who are not going to be exactly like we are.

The heart of our relationships is the key. I really believe that with all my heart.

Chris is doing well, thank you for that! He is getting his life on track now, and has just moved to Tennessee for a job opportunity.

He is a child of God, mighty warrior, bold and courageous. Full of love and compassion. This is what God says about him, this is who I treat him as, and I trust the Holy Spirit to bring it forth!

Love you sister!

christy rose said...

Daveda, I will be waiting for a book report! :) Seriously!
Christy

Angela said...

Oh my,,,I could have written this...I too was like you in my parenting..and God now has brought me to a place like you where He has shown me His love for me, how He has parented me..He keeps reminding me,,'love believes the best'. love love love..I keep reminding myself of that with my 20 year old...Thanks for sharing such a powerful post with us. It was confirmation to my spirit.

Daveda said...

Christy, I will most definitely be sharing more. I am looking forward to what God will speak to me through the pages!

Daveda said...

Angela, Isn't it the most beautiful thing! I love being more focused on loving my children and building relationships with them, than trying to turn them into who I think they should be.

With my 18 old, one of the things that helps me the most, is trusting in God's love for him and the power of the Holy Spirit working in his life.

This enables me to believe God's truth for him, and treat him according to who God says he is, not just what he does.

Thanks so much for sharing!

Angela said...

This enables me to believe God's truth for him, and treat him according to who God says he is, not just what he does.

amen amen amen sis. Yes, yes yes..God again keeps saying. love believes the best, you walk by faith and not by sight. "Believe I am working in your son's life, look for that evidence of My anointing upon his life"....