The Danger of Moralistic Parenting | The Resurgence.
I loved everything about this post, then realized at the very end that it’s an excerpt from a book I just ordered on the Kindle. WIN!
An excerpt from the post:
Certainly the faith that has empowered the persecuted church for two millennia isn’t as thin and boring as “Say you’re sorry,” “Be nice,” and “Don’t be like them.” Why would anyone want to deny himself, lay down his life, or suffer for something as inane as that?
I really struggle in sorting out my role vs the Holy Spirit’s role when it comes to my children’s conscience. My parenting style is built on a solid foundation of being a control freak, so I end up requiring some sort of proof that the kids are really truly sorry for what they’ve done.
This has turned them into great actors – Ruthie especially. She gets that striking George Clooney gaze from the top of her eyes thing down really well. And sadly, this often satisfies me. I know it’s highly possible she’s just telling me what I want to hear, but in my lazy moments I’m okay with that.
(If I haven’t mentioned this before, parenting is hard. It requires effort. I don’t always feel like doing it).
It’s only recently that I’ve admitted to myself I’m not actually the Holy Spirit.
I wrote that last sentence before I found this post from THREE YEARS ago, so I guess this is something I’m fairly slow at learning (ya think?!). Here’s an excerpt:
My first instinct when Ruthie gets this stubborn is to make her life as miserable as possible until she cries UNCLE and repents. In my imagination we play a game of chicken to see who lasts longer – me or her. Forcing behavior seems to be what I am most comfortable with, though I know intellectually it’s the worst way to parent.
I had a revelation awhile ago. I realized that Ruthie is a person, not merely an object I own or control. She is a person with a conscience who can feel the conviction of the Holy Spirit. Or not. I realized there are more consequences to our actions than just the circumstantial ones, that she is growing up not only in body, but also in faith. I realized that I won’t always be able to make her feel sorry, that sometimes she will rebel against repentance and have a hard heart, and that there’s not really anything I can do about it in the moment.
I’m ready to be over the whole control freak thing. It’s what makes me take things so personally and respond with unholy anger. I’d much rather just parent obediently and trust Jesus with the outcome.
I can’t wait to read the whole book!