Last week I had the privilege of thoroughly smashing the paradigm of a group of parents and young people. I gave a talk entitled “Beneath the Surface, looking at the effects of Pornography”. I witnessed eyes growing wider and wider as if they were experiencing a blast of information that was overloading their senses and short circuiting their perceptions of what was really available to our kids.
The hard truth is this, for years now, media, movies, the written word, gaming and any other source of content has been pushing the boundaries of what is acceptable, agreeable and palatable.
There is a word as prevalent as it is nightmarish. It haunts the hallways of schools, hides in the dark places and lays in wait for its next victim. Many children face the light of day pregnant with fear that this day will repeat the horrors they felt yesterday and the days before that. So many children are facing the morning school run with a fear that could level a heavyweight boxer by the second round.
Bullies have the ability to rip away the innocence, the joy and the wonder that should form the basis of our children’s reality. From the subtle look over his shoulder to see if his captor will allow him to make the choice he is faced with to the blatant assault he endures at the hands of the “ones in power”.
South African media has launched a tirade of articles in recent weeks exposing the hell that many children find themselves never escaping. From social media rants, emotional barrages, group punishment to full-blown physical warfare.
I don’t profess to be an expert on the material, but this is what I have experienced:
Disclaimer 1: Offence is taken not given, so if after reading you feel a great desire to start a long life altering journey up the miff tree, remember, I pose topics to think about not absolute truths to believe in.
Disclaimer 2: Generally speaking, men don’t step up to the plate in many families, leaving mom’s to handle the fast balls life catapults at them with the greatest poise they can muster. If you identify with one/many/all it doesn’t mean your parenting skills are more Charles Manson than Nanny Mcphee.
OK, so here it goes!
Well, here we go, part 2.
I think its important to note that as much as our children will need grace from both God and ourselves, we will need grace from them. We are not perfect, we will get it wrong, sometimes horribly. But I believe that so long as the driving force behind your actions is a Godly love for you child, a deep desire to see them grow into all that God has planned and to not let anything get in the way of seeing Gods plan for their lives unfold before them, even if it is themselves, then we will be able to correct any miscalculations in our course as parents.
My Dad didn’t hit us as children, or at least I can’t remember, but he had a look that stopped us dead. The mere thought or warning of this look made us behave, well it made me behave, I can’t speak for my brother. But, even that is not enough as it is an external motivator. We need to train our children to be internally motivated to what is right, so that even when everything around them is saying do this or do that, their default setting, their point of reference is an internal compass informed by what they have learnt.
A few weeks ago I wrote a blog entitled “Stop naffhousing the kids!” I had some questions regarding where is correction dealt with in the bible, so here we go.
I have been reading a book by Larry Tomczak called God, the Rod and your child’s bod, and I have been greatly encouraged and stretched and educated and, and and and…
I believe in smacking, but have been enlightened and encouraged by the fact that, it’s not really about smacking at all, it’s about biblical correction in the context of a loving relationship between parent and child. All who see and have experienced “smacking” and have become resentful, angry, disillusioned, frustrated, hurt, abused etc, must understand that their experience is not biblical correction but being at the receiving end of someone who had authority over you, expressing their idea of correction, not in love, but in hurt, retaliation and anger.
So, let’s get into it. I have taken many of the ideas below from Larry’s book, so get hold of one!
“IT’S BETTER TO BUILD CHILDREN THAN TO REPAIR MEN!”
Life is busy, not just work, but life.
If it is not your nine to five function, its your committees, it’s the programmes you attend, the functions you are invited to, and the list goes on and on.
Friends, hobbies and activities even add to your busyness.
When last did you sit down, evaluate what was necessary, not good or fun or useful, but necessary in your life?
Would you rather ‘be there’ than choose to do nothing with your family, just sit, relax, talk. Would you be ok with missing out on what they will talk about?
You know what, life today is so full and the best way to keep us from Fathering our children is to keep us busy, even with things that are actually good. Continue reading
Yesterday as I was taking part in my weekly ritual of Saturday afternoon sport, I felt God lay a sentence on my heart. His nudging urged me to come home early and see my own son.
The sentence was “I am missing you”. I believe God was announcing His position and our next move. Our Father is always present, with arms wide open waiting for us to take up our prodigal son calling and run back into his arms.
God is, always has been and always will be waiting for us to realize His love for us. He longs for us to lay down our busy lives at the alter of what truly matters. We complicate, we necessitate and then package, in triplicate, plans and ‘to do lists’ of things that only end up accomplishing one thing, rendering us too busy!
To busy for what? To busy to realize that we miss Him too.