Thursday, November 15, 2007

Parenting Thoughts

I recently finished a class at our church on the book Shepherding a Child's Heart. We have read the book before, but it was definitely and opportune time for a refresher. After finishing the class and the book, I purchased Don't Make Me Count to Three and I have gotten pretty close to finishing it as well. It has been helpful and I love gaining the insight that others have on biblical parenting. I do not think that there is one absolute way to parent but Trace and I have chosen to use the bible as our guidelines in parenting. The bible has so much to say about our attitude and heart issues. What better source is there than God's word.
So for the past few months we have doubled our efforts on addressing the heart issues of the kids based on what the bible has to say about them and using biblical language when we discuss these heart issues.
In Don't Make Me Count to Three the author addresses the need to correct sinful behavior with positive behavior. We cannot simply say that is wrong and not show them or teach them what is acceptable to do instead. That leads to the reason for this blog entry...I have been using the word servant lately when I am talking to Aidan and Rebecca. We talk about how they often come from a selfish heart and attitude when they argue over getting their way and we have been looking for opportunities to serve one another. I am seeing some fruit from this. Today, Aidan asked Rebecca to play cars, she said no, so he said what do you want to do. She said play Uno and he agreed at which point he turned to me and said see I am being a servant, I am playing Uno even though that is not what I want to do. At first I was excited and my heart swelled a bit. You may even say I felt a little prideful, until a few minutes later Aidan sought out another opportunity to give of himself and again he announced how servant like he was. This happened a third time within 15 minutes. It sure teaches me of the power of praise, but also the desire to please man. How do you praise your children and encourage positive behavior without teaching them to do things with the motivation of pleasing man and not to please God, or is this teaching them behavior that is pleasing to God? I feel like I am walking the parenting tightrope. I have to be careful to not lean too far either way. I know that I catch myself doing things at times that are more strongly motivated by the desire to please/impress others rather than to obey God and please Him. It is natural for our kids to want to please us, but at what point are we teaching our kids that they exist to make mommy happy. That is not what I believe at all. I want them to experience my unconditional love, that is not dependent on doing right or wrong. If you have any feedback I would love to hear it.

1. The other day we were driving down the street and Rebecca said look mommy, it's a Dr. Firetruck (Rather than an ambulance).
2. Last night we were outside and Rebecca looked up in the sky and said with amazement, look mommy God made more stars!
3. Joy lights up in Rebecca's face when she announces that there is pink in the sky and pink is my favorite color (during sunsets).
I desire to be this easy to please and amaze!

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