About Me

I am a proud wife and mother, and a born again Christian. I work from home as a writer while taking care of Miss N, our six-year-old, Miss M, our four-year-old and Miss C, our newest bundle of joy. Life is crazy but so much fun!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Parenting with Wisdom, Chapter 3 Part 1

Here is my first post in Parenting with Wisdom discussing chapter 3. I will need two posts to do justice to this chapter. You can get your copy of this book on Ironwood Camp’s website.

Chapter 3 is about loving your children. Perhaps I have been putting off this summary because it was so convicting to me personally. It can be summed up in this quote:



Children tend to learn the reality of God’s love as they experience the
realities of a parent’s love in concrete ways. To a child, parents are the
tender voice of God calling them by name.

Ouch! How often is my voice calling in a harsh, reprimanding way? Not that reprimands are not warranted, but harshness does not point to God!



So how can we love our children biblically? We are to love them as God loves us,
so the first requirement is knowing God. We must be able to determine how God’s
love looks in practical life circumstances. That requires study of His
character.

After laying this foundation, Mrs. Pryde breaks down God’s love into different categories.

Love Gives

God loved us so much He gave the ultimate sacrifice. Giving unselfishly to our children is not always natural. For some mothers it might be, but I sometimes struggle here.



Mothers who abuse their authority over their children, who expect their children
to cater to their desires and conform to what pleases them, do not love their
children in the biblical sense of the word. Such mothers make decisions for
their children based solely on what is most convenient to them, what will cost
them the least, or what will bring most pleasure to them

I fall into this trap often. In this home it often looks like this: Mommy has tucked in the children for nap or bedtime, and is ready to sit down to work in the few quiet hours I have. One child either has a legitimate need or begins to disobey to get Mommy’s attention. Instead of lovingly attending to the need or dealing with the misbehavior, I lose my temper and show them exactly how much I resent their intrusion on my work hours.

Yikes! I need to beg God to help me love them selflessly!



To withhold what is good and needful is to neglect a child, and this neglect
represents a form of child abuse of the most subtle and destructive kind.

Love is a Choice

This section did not speak to me as much as the other section, perhaps because I already have somewhat of an understanding of this concept. We do not love our children because they are lovely, do things for us, or behave well. We love them in spite of themselves, like God loves us, simply because they are ours.

Love Motivates

This chapter intrigued me because I am struggling to motivate my younger child. Mrs. Pryde sets forth a contrast:



The kindness of a mother, demonstrated by loving acts of mercy and tenderness,
draws children to respond to her and follow her. . . . . Harsh words, tough
gestures of contempt, strict rules, and condemning lectures harden the hearts of
children.

Ouch again!

Love Disciplines

Lest you think this book is all about loving your children with tender words and gestures, she has plenty to say about discipline, but the foundation, love and kindness, must follow through even with discipline. Yet, even while we are loving, we still must train.



Parents who indulge their children’s every whim, or who do not enforce
restraints or discipline in their children’s lives, produce children who are
insecure, self-centered, and rebellious.

Remember the words of Proverbs 13:24: “He that spareth the rod, hateth his son; but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.”

Harsh words? Perhaps, but they are God’s words! Discipline is biblical, and it can be carried out in a loving way. I thought this was particularly insightful:



Learning to administer firm and consistent discipline, together with gentleness
and patience, is not something that comes naturally to our human nature. Rather,
it requires us to seek God’s strength, power, and wisdom as we learn how to
master disciplining our children in love.

A great reminder! Of myself, I cannot hope to administer discipline in a spirit of love. I must rely on Christ!

I am going to stop there for this summary. This is about half of Chapter 3. I will return to Chapter 3 hopefully next week if I can stay on track and get these summaries done on time. I know that I, for one, need to meditate on these truths again for a few days.

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