Monday, February 21, 2011

Parental Courage (Part II of II)

It is said that courage is not the absence of fear; it is persevering despite fear. Courage is needed to parent. Despite our own fear of rejection when our children are upset with us, we must have the courage to do the right thing. Our children’s welfare depends upon it. We go astray in thinking that our primary role with our children is to provide a nice, happy, and peaceful home. That is a worthy desire as a consequence of righteous parenting, but it can’t be our primary objective. Our primary objective must be to righteously equip our kids for life both on earth and eternity. Having kids who are happy with us but who are poorly equipped to function in earthly and eternal life is not good parenting. It is selfish parenting as it is parenting which serves our own desire for personal peace and happiness. If we truly love our children, we are to lay down our lives (want & desires) for what is right for them. Just like “peace, peace” can’t be the primary objective in a relationship with God, it can’t be the primary objective in parenting either. In all of life, we must seek first to do the righteous thing. We are to stand strong in righteousness, rather than appease our kids’ emotional upsets. We are to seek the true peace of doing the right thing for the right reason at the right time, rather than seek an artificial “peace, peace” with our kids that is merely a prelude to a bigger battle or war. Being a righteous parent requires courage…the courage to lead children to do the right thing, even if they are kicking and screaming along the way. By the way, kids don’t have to go through the “terrible twos.” If children find out early that throwing a fit doesn’t get them what they want, they tend to stop. If throwing a fit works, they tend to never stop throwing fits to get their way…even when they are adults. Anyway, gaining God’s peace takes courage and fortitude in doing the right thing: obey His laws and commands, regardless of what it personally costs us. His peace isn’t found in what we think is nice, happy, and peaceful. That is considered “whitewashing” God’s truth. Similarly, we can’t “whitewash” the truth about raising kids. We are to be parents who lead our children in what is right, regardless of what the children want and despite what it personally may cost us. So, be strong and of good courage.

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