Tuesday, November 27, 2012

tiring, overwhelming, daunting, exhausting, scary...

just a few of the ways I'm feeling right now about parenting as a whole.
some of them describe the current days of endless correction and discipline.
and the rest are how I feel about thinking of the end goal we have with raising our boys.
and the fact that what we want and pray they become is only partly in our hands.
we will do the best that we can to provide an environment full of love, truth and grace
and then hope what we've done sinks in.

right now we are in the middle of a parenting study with our small group on sunday evenings.  it's chip ingram's "effective parenting in a defective world."  and it's good.  so good.  it's not the first one we've done, but now that Lincoln's old enough for us to apply some of the things we're learning, it's different this time around for us.

Tyler and I have learned so much and I wanted to share some of the things that have really stood out to me. {that may mean this spills into a couple posts} :)

The main thing so far is that we as parents need to recognize that our child's primary responsibility is to learn obedience.
Ephesians 6:1-3
Children, it is your duty to obey your parents, for this is the right thing to do.  Respect your father and mother is the first commandment that has a promise added: so that all may go well with you and you may live a long time in the land.

Obedience is defined as teaching your child to come under the hearing of your voice.

The end goal of obedience to mom and dad, is for our children to learn to submit to the voice of God.
They learn to obey us (who they can see) so that they can learn to obey God (who they can't physically see).

No pressure huh?
So that they shift their dependence (eventually) from us to God.  We aren't teaching independence in a sense, just redirecting their dependence.
I can remember in my own growing up when that switch started to happen.  It was the whole situation when my dad was forced out of farming, we had to move and switch schools.  To my 15 year old self (who had unfortunate pressure from teachers and coaches at the time) it was earth shattering.  I know, I know, this was pud compared to what a lot of 15 year olds have had to endure in their already short lifetime but to me (in my very sheltered life so far) it was as if the earth was crumbling beneath me.  It didn't take long for me to realize that a lot of things in the world, my parents couldn't control.  Like this situation, it was out of their control and for me to see that as their child, really played a significant role in my relationship with Christ.  Until then I had a very surface level faith.  I grew up learning all about God, asked him into my heart at a young age and followed the rules because my parents taught me well.  We went to church every Sunday and I was a "good" little Christian girl :)  But I had never made my faith, my own.  It took these circumstances to really shift my dependence on my parents to dependence on God.  He got me/us through that terrible (to me) situation.

Wow, that was quite the tangent.  So back to teaching obedience... :)

But the main point that I've had to focus on as we figure out this whole parenting thing is that obedience is a process.  Ugh, seriously?!  I can't just snap my fingers and he automatically obeys right away, all the way and with a happy heart?!?!  Unfortunately, with a strong willed child it'll be a looooooooooong process.  And boy do we have a strong willed child.  Maybe it's a first born thing.  I don't know but I know I can be little stubborn at times....

There are good days and there are bad days.....like a couple days ago when I had to drag my kicking and screaming child out of the library because he was not obeying when I said it was time to go.  Oh my goodness I don't think he's ever thrown that bad of a tantrum before.  My blood was boiling to say the least.  We had a 30 minute ride home and over and over again we talked about why he is to obey the first time, that God wants him to obey his mommy, the consequences that will happen when he throws fits.  Over and over and over and over and over again.

A child's responsibility ties right in with their needs.  They NEED significance (love) and security (boundaries).  Children CRAVE boundaries.  They need them.  So we give them.

And as hard as some days are, they are all part of this whole thing called parenthood.  This wonderful, beautiful time of our lives :).

1 comment:

  1. I am going to be coming to you for book recs, scripture, prayers, etc when we have children!