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Sunday, July 26, 2009

Frustration.....

I typically don't worry about comments or sermons on Child Raising. But something I listened to was just over the top....

I heard a talk on Discipline. I was not at all surprised that discipline was simply consequences, punishment, spanking, and it was even said if you do not do these things you hate your children and they will go to hell. Pretty much, that summed up what was said.

I fear the results of flippantly going through a few scriptures and saying that parents are afraid to discipline their kids,afraid of spanking them, they are indulging them, they are allowing them to do whatever they want etc. etc. And the result is going to be rebellious kids who think God owes them everything..... and they will ultimately rebel and go to hell, all because you refused to spank them. And it will be all your fault.
I do wonder sometimes, if the "culture" that was spoken of, where Christian parents are indulging their child's every whim, was overstated. There is a "Christianese Culture" in America that says, "beat your kids, they won't die", "use a rod", and then they go on to describe it, "if their heart isn't right, beat em' again". Oh yea, this one especially gets me. Let's make sure our children learn to hide how they REALLY feel; maybe they'll explode later. This is suggested in Tripp's book "Shepherding a Child's Heart. If they don't take their punishment well, then do it again.
Hebrews was tied in to Proverbs and that is a real stretch.

The statement was made that you MUST have consequences! But what kind of consequences?
Ones we make up? Ones we make hurt? Ones that are "really gonna teach em this time!"
Take THAT!
Or can the consequence be more natural. One that is just a simple result of a child's misbehavior? Is that not more along the lines of how God deals with us? If you misbehave in a store we have to leave. For all 7 of our kids, I can count on one hand the times we had to leave a store because of misbehavior.

The implication made, that if you do not spank, your kids will rebel and go to hell is just silly. Are there no Christians in Scandinavia? In Canada? In Australia? How about Japan? How about Korea? How about England? France? Germany? Many of these countries totally forbid spanking or seriously restrict it.

Children are not saved because parents spank them. They are drawn by the Holy Spirit to trust Christ for Salvation through Faith, that Faith being a GIFT OF GOD lest ANY man, or parent, should boast.

The other thing is: Since when is discipline simply punitive? Since when? We always use "punitive" for kids. What about for ourselves? Oh no, for ourselves we want mercy and grace and patience and kindness and every other chance available..... but for our kids? LAW LAW LAW.

Is it possible to discipline your children without spanking? Of course it is. Isn't that what our heavenly father does with us? Does he not lovingly guide us and protect us? Does he not gently draw us? Isn't he patient, slow to anger, great in mercy, not wanting anybody to perish?

First off, disciplining children is "discipling" them. Teaching them, coming along side them, leading them, guiding them, helping them work through decisions and issues with wise council, giving great patience and kindness to them, and helping them along the way to learn and grow in the ways of the Lord. It is all about relationship, trusting relationship. Not based upon fear but on Love.

It is true that we should fear the possibility that a soul could be cast into hell. But if God goes to great pains to send His son to take our punishment, sends His spirit, gives us assurances of His great love for us, it seems odd we should then tell Christians to fear.
It IS true that God disciplines those he loves. His Children, the closer they become with Him in relationship, are also taught through the Holy Spirit and Word to grow ever closer. Sometimes those introspective moments are quite painful as we see who we really are, and how far away we really are from the Mark. But that isn't what we are supposed to do. As was so eloquently pointed out during worship hour. If we put our eyes upon ourselves, we will ALWAYS fall short. But if we keep our eyes on HIM, the author and perfector of our Faith, with an eternal perspective ahead, we will be at peace and wil be able to grow in Faith.

I know many a child raised in the suggested form at the beginning of this post who have grown to be embittered adults, far from the Lord, with broken hearted parents.
Why? Because they followed the crazy teachings out there including Tripp, Ezzo, Pearl.

It is much easier to blame our children for bad behavior than our parenting. It is much easier to have a quick, swift, answer to everything instead of bothering to actually TEACH them and discipline them in the way they should go. Of course, that takes TIME and effort that many parents just don't want to give.

Frankly, a lot of folks who spank do so out of irritation, not instruction. The kid doesn't learn anything other than, if they irritate mom and dad to a certain point they will get hit. That kind of parenting is like putting a blind person in a room full of furniture and expecting them to not run into anything.
And the results are, unruly children who are also spanked.

In contrast, a parent who diligently disciplines their child, (disciples) comes along side, teaches them, guides, them, will many times have a very obedient child. This child will learn self control, self discipline, out of a desire for relationship with their parents. They will want to please, out of devotion. It isn't that far of a stretch for this child to then be taught of the relationship with God being one of endless love and devotion.

Parenting without spanking takes a lot of time and self reflection. It takes time to think about how to respond, how to teach, how to model. Kids learn from what they see and hear. If we model impatience, irritation and judgmentalism to our kids, we will have impatient, irritated, judgmental kids. If we model to them the fruit of the Spirit, they will respond in suit. But will also find themselves, just as we find ourselves, coming up short, living in the flesh; and then together we can seek our heavenly father who is great in loving kindness, never turning us away, always abounding in love and forgiveness.

1 John 4:18

New International Version (©1984)
There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

New American Standard Bible (©1995)
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.

International Standard Version (©2008)
There is no fear where love exists. Rather, perfect love banishes fear, for fear involves punishment, and the person who lives in fear has not been perfected in love.

GOD'S WORD® Translation (©1995)
No fear exists where his love is. Rather, perfect love gets rid of fear, because fear involves punishment. The person who lives in fear doesn't have perfect love.

King James Bible
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.

American King James Version
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear: because fear has torment. He that fears is not made perfect in love.

American Standard Version
There is no fear in love: but perfect love casteth out fear, because fear hath punishment; and he that feareth is not made perfect in love.

Bible in Basic English
There is no fear in love: true love has no room for fear, because where fear is, there is pain; and he who is not free from fear is not complete in love.

9 comments:

Tereasa said...

Good thoughts, good thoughts!

Diana said...

I like your sermon better :-). You've inspired me to keep working at being kinder and gentler with my kids...and my husband...and myself.

JJ said...

Maybe the sermon was on target for the days of Eli the High Priest in the Old Testament...when the children of Israel were under the Law? Eli's boys could have benefited from some "rod time"!

However...in the New Testament, I see a tapestry of grace. Euticus, for example was given the gift of a longer life, after falling asleep and out of the window during one of Paul's long sermons. If it weren't for grace, he would have been left where he fell to be eaten by wild animals as an example of how not to act at church! Right?

Jesus says we will be judged according to how we judge others, so, I desire to err on the side of grace with others...including my children!

Oakie Grandfather said...

Elayne: I like everything you said. why do we have to age some to get that message. I hope you direct your preacher to read this message so he knows how you feel. Leave him some room. Maybe he was just having a bad day.

Oakie Grandfather said...

I am out of it. Not Elayne, rather Christi

Mike and Christie said...

Hey there,
I do love our teacher. I also think there were some good things he had to say. There always are. I grew up under the rod teachings and as an adult have sat under those teachings, not just from this pulpit, (might I add this is a rarely mentioned) so while my blog may have seemed just directed at yesterday, I think it was a culmination of frustration in recent conversations I have had.
I just think as Christian parents, we can do better. I agree that indulgence of children is in our society and it is wrong. But not everything we see on a Sunday a.m. with little ones squirming around us or being perfectly still, can present an accurate picture of what is going on in the heart of a family, child or parent.
And I think sometimes there are sub cultures that go on, especially within the church. The "parenting book" culture, is one that is alive and well. (the 3 mentioned authors especially) It concerns me that people will read a book, or listen to a speaker and not hold it up to thorough examination and then swallow it as complete truth.

Our teacher said something about the emergent church saying that the crucifixion of Christ was the ultimate in Child abuse. That is absurd. But I have read some of those other books that have said, since God didn't spare his son and took his wrath out on him we should do the same. That is Equally absurd.

God gave us brains and hearts to use for discernment.

krishna kashyap av said...

Really goods thoughts.
It was very interesting and very much
explanatory..
Thanks for sharing your amazing thoughts.
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krishna kashyap av said...

Really goods thoughts.
It was very interesting and very much
explanatory..
Thanks for sharing your amazing thoughts.
Family law companies

TulipGirl said...

I found this very encouraging. . . thank you! And I'm thankful that our pastor keeps going back to the Gospel -- for us, for our children, for our struggles in parenting. . . It makes a difference hearing THAT from the pulpit.

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