This is a letter I wrote to a friend of mine who asked me for some insight into some parenting issues with her son. I thought it was appropriate for any mother concerned with parenting.
I was feeling bad after you left coz, we threw at you a lot of information and ideas. These are things we need to sit across and discuss and counsel in a prayerful environment. I don’t even know if you are mad at me for sharing all these.
But I am earnestly praying that you would take home one word, ie consistency. Whatever you start, whatever you do, whatever you try is all a waste, if you don’t have consistency. Your son has figured you out very well and he knows he can get away with anything. He knows you can only punish so much. He knows all your buttons. He knows which one to push, at what time.
Like you said, you might have tried so many techniques in the past to tweak him. Most of them are worldy counsel that you get from parenting sites and parenting gurus. They are not biblical. Did you know, they are an abomination to our God? Worldly counsel is an abomination to our God.
He is a very jealous God and He wants you to seek His face and ask Him for wisdom. You need to turn to the scriptures like never before, for the sake of your child. In that process, you will change and when you change, he will see it and he will change too.There is no quick fix my friend.
You don’t need to do any of these things to pass down the legacy of your parents to him. It comes automatically. I have noticed that I can and I do raise my kids with the same self centered approach my parents did to me while I was growing up. It comes natural to me. It takes intentional parenting and relying a lot on God’s grace for me to raise them in godliness or in God’s way. I have to swim against the grains of my nature. I have to swim against the culture. That is intentional parenting.
I need to give them the gift of discernment, ie to teach them right from wrong. I need to instill them a discerning spirit which always analyzes truth and lies as they go out into the world. I can do this only by modeling it myself. Showing them from daily examples right from wrong. If I am fooling around in my life, living the way I want, I cannot show them nor will they learn any truths. In our house we have high regard for truth spoken or in action. Does that mean we don’t lie? No, we fall, but we are careful to repent and not to repeat it again.
So I am starting a new legacy. One of truth and self less or sacrificial lifestyle. I do not want to pass down the legacy which was handed to me. Its like a relay. You are handed a baton by your parents. It is a package. It contains a lot of sinful choices, not surrendered to the Lord. You can chose to give the same baton to your son. He will in turn give the same to his child, or my friend, you can by faith reach up to your heavenly Father and receive a new baton. Intentional baton. Take it from your Father and give it to your child. Start a new legacy. One of truth and discipline.
I want to know sister, whether you are with me in this, whether any of these are making any sense to you. If you are, I am here to pray with you and support you.
With lots of prayers,
Your sister in Christ.