By: Dan Seale
Parenting Tips that could change your life…and ideas on helping your anxious child
If that is not click bait, I am not sure what is. However, I do think there are some potentially game-changing and potentially life-changing ideas about parenting in this article.
First, take a minute and put in writing your expectations and description of the ideal Christian home. Now, give me some examples of families like that in the Bible.
Julie Lowe posed that question recently at her parenting conference, Childproof: Parenting by Faith not Formula. Someone responded, “Well, Joseph’s family. He learned to forgive.” Julie responded, “Would you want to be a part of that family?” Everyone laughed because no one wanted to be part of that dysfunctional family. Then there was a long silence. Her point was well taken. Nowhere do we find a family that would meet today’s expectations of what an ideal Christian home should look like. So, what happens when what you are given is less than ideal?
Does your picture of the ideal keep you from understanding and loving your actual family?
Julie did a great job of pointing us to pursue biblical wisdom, seeking to know our children individually so we can guide and shepherd them towards their Father in heaven. What I loved about her approach to parenting is its foundational reliance upon God to work in the lives of parents and children to accomplish His purposes. I highly commend her book to you, Childproof: Parenting by Faith not Formula.
Here are a few helpful quotes/ideas from the seminar to consider:
Some of these I believe could be life-changing for you and your children.
· Our goal in parenting is not success but faithfulness to God.
· How do we know how to love and raise our children well? We look to the One who is our Father.
· We are not in charge of the outcome. That is God’s job.
· Our kids are not our trophies.
· Our children are moral responders, and I cannot control them.
· Too often we use guilt and shame to modify our children’s external behavior.
· Great freedom and great responsibility come with giving up an ideal and choosing to know your family.
· We don’t do fair with our children; we do what is good and right for each one of them as individuals uniquely made by God.
· There are places inside a child’s head and heart that we cannot go. There are places only God can reach.
· Require yourself to be what you desire your children to be.
· When children learn to find identity in Christ, it does not negate the struggle of their experiences, but it creates a grid through which children can make sense of life – not only make sense, but accurately make sense out of life.
Bonus article: Helping Your Anxious Child by Julie Lowe
Next week, I’ll share my personal tips on parenting gained from almost 3 decades of parenting, 25 years of pastoring, reading lots of books and making countless mistakes along the way. My mistakes were often the best teachers.