Parenting Series: Process



I don't know about you, but ah.. sometimes I just want my child to be different, to change their behaviour right now.  To have the light at the end of the tunnel be right there with me.  

To not have to punish, "have long talks with",  shake my head in frustration (or bang it against the wall).... I want that change and I want it now.

But one thing I've learned...change isn't like that.  It's a whole process.  That is what David Tripp wants to talk to us about in this chapter.  How change is a process not this instantaneous event.

Mr. Tripp reminds us to look to our own life.  Does God make sudden changes in our life for the most part?   Or is the change in our behaviour a more gradual one?  Generally the latter right?  

I know it's true in my own life.  I don't suddenly start realizing all the time, the depth of God's love for me.  I forget and need to be reminded, and at times it hits me hard about how much he cares for me and ergo, how hard should it be for me to change something I do in response to that great love?   How hard is it really to behold his glory and to be changed by it?   

Seeing that level of forgetfulness in myself helps me have compassion for my lad who struggles as well...and doesn't have the experience under his belt that I do.   It helps me to stop and take a breath and explain to him yet again that I will ALWAYS forgive him if he's sorry for his actions.  To ask him again, how will he turn from his wrong ways to seek to do what is right?   

Having that in mind, Mr. Tripp reminds us of three tenets of parenting
1. You need to parent with a process mentality.  Don't look for sudden change but long-term change.  Parenting is a day by day, bit by bit method of caring for those in your care.
2. You need to see parenting as one unending conversation.  God put your child in your family for a reason.  So you don't have that pressure of wanting instantaneous change.  Therefore you know that every conversation, every disciplinary action, every moment you spend with your children is just another link in the chain of change.
3. You need to parent with a project mentality.  Change is always a process, this gives you a chance to look for points of influence instead of just reacting to what's in front of you.  Be the point of change. 

I have to admit, it's SO easy to ignore all that and just react to what's going on in the family.  It is!   But seriously... is it for the long-term good of those we parent?  We need to exemplify God in our actions... living by the gifts he has given us, showing the fruits of the spirit in our actions and words. 

It's a process of grace.  God's grace bestowed upon us his beloved children, let us then show that grace to our young. 

For the rest of the series go here.   

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

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2 comments

  1. I think this was one of the chapters that was hardest for me to admit my shortcomings in relation to the topic. I do want that change NOW. We are all works in progress. It reminds me of a children's song: "There really ought to be, a sign upon my heart, "Don't judge me yet there's an unfinished part; but I'll be perfect just according to God's plan, fashioned by the Master's loving hand." And that is the beauty - God is working on my children, just as He is working on me. - Lori

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    Replies
    1. Lately the lad has been causing me to remember more and more that it is all just a process. Hard stuff sometimes. :)

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