Monday, October 11, 2010

the parenting pendulum

Recently I realized that I am constantly swinging on the parenting (child training) pendulum.  When the kids are behaving, doing great and acting as I desire, I am feeling oh so proud... dare I admit I am truly prideful.  However when they are disobeying, being selfish and defiant I am oh so discouraged.  From discouragement to pride, then pride back to discouragement.

Uggh! Then I realize, "wow, this really isn't about me".  If they are doing well, I need to be praising God for working in their little hearts.  If they are struggling with sin, I need to be coming along side them {dare I say thankful for an opportunity} to train their heart and leaning on God for his help.  When my heart is focused on me and my efforts, I am failing to see all that God is doing.  The other thing I have noticed is when I am swinging back and forth, I am failing to see their hearts; all I am focusing on is their behavior.

Heart training is so incredibly difficult.  To see what the heart issue is behind the behavior is so hard.  It is even difficult for me to really evaluate what is going on in my heart that is driving my attitude and actions.  To break down each issue to the true sin behind it can be a challenge.  However, the alternative of only looking at the behavior teaches our little ones that as long as you appear to have it together on the outside it doesn't matter what is going on inside.

Last Friday I picked "Don't Make Me Count to Three" up off my bookshelf to re-read.  It has been 2+ years since I read it and I needed a little refresher after some issues we got going on in our casa.  I am devouring each chapter... this is exactly what I needed.  Here is a section that got right to my heart:

"When we focus on our children's outside behavior and neglect what is on the inside, we will cause our children to become manipulators.  They will learn to please us by jumping through the hoop (by acting the way we tell them to act out of fear of punishment) but thy will not learn the righteousness of Christ... we risk them viewing Christianity as a set of burdensome rules."

I have so much growth in the area of parenting... so much growth in godly wisdom, patience and perspective!

1 comment:

  1. i appreciate this post kelly! these same things have been on my mind lots lately.



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