Alright people. This parenting thing is hard. Parenting well (or attempting to) is even harder. I am so thankful for how the Lord leads, guides, teaches and trains us. When we are listening. My lessons might be so duh for you. For me: lifechanging. Like cry-when-I-tell-Chris-about-them. So, I thought I would share in hopes that it helps you in some way or at least spurs you on to think of other things the Lord might want to teach you.
When I read the Bible I am able to take God's promises and what they mean for me (most of the time) but I truggle with synthesizing the promises into what they mean practically for me as a parent. The Bible study that I am doing with some friends "Raising Responsive Children" is really helping me internalize and apply in ways that help me to parent well with the end goal of raising my children for the Lord.
Ok, now this is probably going to be a little choppy because I am lifting something from the middle of a lesson so minimal back story etc. so bear with me. The day's study was titled "The Heart of the Home" and was talking about how we as women are the heart of the home and set the atmosphere of our home. So based on that...we should be drawing from God's most powerful attribute: unconditional love. Several paragraphs of descriptions were given about God's agape love. While this love is unconditional it does not take away uncomfortable or painful consequences for our bad choices. Agape love is a choice, an act of one's will rather than a feeling or emotion.
So...then the book asks, "Do you ever intentionally make your children feel rejected or unloved until their behavior improves? How effective is this approach? Based on today's lesson, what would you do differently?" My answer: Yes. I tell Lorelei I don't want to be around her when she is throwing a fit. Oh my word, what if the Lord did that to me?!? I throw some fits people.
Book again, "Do you have any 'unlovable' children at home? (I think this can be decided in moments...Dawn's thought) Why is that child hard to love? What is your typical emotional response to this child? How would loving this child God's agape way stabilize your current emotional reponse? How might this change impact your child's behavior?
Me: If I speak God's truth to her: I'm not going to leave you, even when you are throwing this fit. I love you. There will still be consequences but I won't make you be upset alone. If I do, how can I teach her how to deal with the harsh realities of life?
I have no idea if this makes any sense and speaks to anyone else. It was a pivotal moment for me.