Thoughts On Parenting

Our pastor came to our MOPs group this morning, as he does the first or second meeting each year, and spoke for a bit about parenting from the premise that he had set out to have the same conviction for parenting as he did for pastoring as he did for his marriage and as he did for life in general, all based on the Great Commandment (Love the Lord with all your heart, soul, and mind and love your neighbor as yourself.)

He then laid out the following principles in support of this:
1) Relationships -- you can't parent out of information, you parent out of relationship. Healthy relationships start with us. In our marriages and with our friends and mentors. We should create rules that encourage relationships.

2) Faith - Yes, you should make your kids go to church. But it needs to be consistent in your life as well. Families need to be in church together. Kids need to see their parents growing in faith over their lifetime, so they understand the continuous process of growth that they should be seeking. Also, faith shouldn't be simply defensive - geared toward making them "good kids", but it should be offensive, geared toward raising people who will go out and change the world.

3) Trust - If you say no, mean no. And don't make yourself the consequence (your anger, frustration, disapproval, etc.). If you don't mean it, don't say it. If you do say it, keep your promises.

4) Words - Encourage your children. Every day. Teach your kids to dream, because a dream can help you look beyond a circumstance. Hold others sacred - make your household a place of respect to everyone, even (or especially) those who annoy you.

5) Forgiveness - The home should be a place where forgiveness is given and also  a place where it is asked for. Don't let your parenting be a reaction to how you were raised, even if where you came from was horrible. Forgive your parents and raise your children from a clean slate. Avoid making vows of "I will never do that" based on past hurts - it only perpetuates the cycle.

Above all, be purposeful about the principles that guide your parenting.

I thought it was really well put. And while most was not new, there were a few things to chew on, and others that were timely reminders.

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