Parenting Series: Inability


Parenting is hard work you know?   REALLY hard work.   It's hard to balance out my needs, my hubby's needs AND the needs of my offspring.   It's outstanding the needs that have to be balanced and something will fall short.... guaranteed.

And that's not a bad thing you know?

It's shows our weakness, our frailty, our need for Christ's redemptive work in our lives...not just in the lives of our children...but in the lives of us the parents!   It's essential to be aware of that.

Our weakness is a good thing.

Sometimes though it's hard to recognize our weaknesses.  

Did you know that many parents use three ways to help train their children?
1. Fear.  Like when you threaten to ground your child for months, or when you threaten to remove a bed from a child with a perpetually messy bed.   Fear promotes external change, not heart and attitude change.  It's "act so that the bad thing doesn't happen" not because their heart leads them to act in a better manner.

2. Reward.   Do this ______ and I will give you _______.   Again, promotes external change but doesn't really promote heart change.  Promotes the cost analysis factor in children.  If the reward for x is this, then if I want y what is the least I can do to gain it?

3. Shame.  "how could you"  "I never would have dreamed of..."  Using your past or exaggerating a present to make the child feel bad about what they do.  Causes your child to feel shame by association to you.

All these methods do have their moments of effectiveness....but they don't really change the heart.  
And we CAN"T change the hearts of our children.
Therein lies our weakness.

We can't change the hearts of our children, all we can do is call out to God for help.  To give us insight into the hearts and minds of our children so we can guide them into the future of loving God and being led by him.

We need to recognize this truth "Because as parents we serve a gloriously loving and powerful Redeemer.  He loves our children infinitely more than we do and as evidence of that love, he has placed them in a family of  faith where the story of his love will be heard again and again.  He has the power beyond our ability to understand.... In grace he will never turn his back on your cries as a parent and on your children's cries as they reach out for him.  He delights in love.  He delights in reconciliation.   He delights in repentance and change.   He delights in showering his power down on his children to do for them what is his will, but what they cannot do for themselves."  p.69.

In the end we have to realize, that even if we don't have all the answers, even if we get things wrong, we don't have to fret!   If we turn to God and lean on him, he'll help us through it.  He's got our backs.  He wants what is best for us and for our children.   He is the only one with the power to make a difference.

Therein, lies his grace.

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I was talking with my lad today about this chapter.   Because it makes sense right?  That it's not up to me to change his heart...that I can do things to hopefully influence his thought processes, but it's not up to me to change him, to cause him to all the more seek after God's own heart.    When I said "Lad, if I raise my voice at you...does it change your behaviour in your heart?  OR does it just make you want to stop doing what you are doing at the moment?   Does it change what you do in the future?"   He honestly didn't know, but I could see the wheels turning in his brain.  :)   It's good to talk about these things with a growing boy, to help him see my need for God's grace even as I parent him.

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Amazon.ca - Parenting: 14 Gospel Principles That Can Radically Change Your Family

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2 comments

  1. This chapter had much to say to me, as well. It is a good one and really made me consider my part in parenting, where I place my reliance and what I try to do. My toes were really hurting when I got through this but it is good to have to see my own shortfalls so that I can do better and strive to serve Him as a parent.

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