July 23, 2009

Parenting, Hard? Really?

Let me start by telling you something you already know: parenting is hard! Don't get me wrong - being a Dad has totally changed my life. My children are a treasure. They have wrecked my heart in so many amazing ways I can't put words to it. And I guess, if I'm real, that's what makes it so hard at times. Disciplining your child - really "disciple-ing" them in truth and love - can feel like an overwhelming and monumental task. But if we love them - really, truly love them - how can we not?

I read in Proverbs this morning, "Don't fail to correct your children. They won't die if you spank them. Physical discipline may well save them from death." (23:13-14) I love Solomon's affectionate tenderness: "They won't DIE if you spank them!" (He actually sounds a bit like me) This kind of discipline is hard because it requires patience. It's hard because you & I cannot allow ourselves to do it in anger! My flesh often wants to let it rip and *POW*, right to the moon! But this is not the way of the Lord. It's a much harder thing to send my son to his room, look him in the eye and make sure he understands what he's done wrong, and that he has chosen this path. It's easier to fly off the handle than it is to patiently explain, "Because of the choice you made, I have to spank you." NOT easy!

Earlier in Proverbs 22:15, Solomon says, "A youngster's heart is filled with foolishness, but discipline will drive it away." [Let me begin by pointing out that Solomon made himself sound 90 by using the word youngster - but that's another story for another day.] We have to make sure we grasp that DISCIPLINE will drive it away. Not anger. Or sarcasm. Or belittling them. Or lazily expecting our spouse to always handle it. Discipline. And make no mistake - discipline is a LOT harder than the alternatives. But your children are so worth it!

Maybe you've had all this figured out for awhile. Bravo! If not - like me - keep asking the Lord to grant you what you need to show your kids the love of Christ. And asking him to give you the courage & wisdom to make disciples in your own home. That's where it starts!

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