Thursday, April 15, 2010

All from the knock at the door.

This morning I had the pleasure of having a Jehovah Witness at my door. By pleasure I mean that he was a lovely older gentle man who is doing what he believes is the right thing to do. Although his speech was obviously practiced and a well seasoned sermonette. He did get me to think about something. Deception and mass manipulation. He talked about a few different examples of "christian" groups that supported mass destruction of the human race in the name of God. He called them uninformed. I called them deceived.

As a child I was raised christian and was taught christian ways of living. I feel blessed to have been raised in such a way that made it fairly easy for me to come to a personal decision to choose to believe in Jesus Christ and to follow God's ways taught in the bible. Now looking back I think it was the freedom to choose that is what made me go through my journey of starting a personal relationship with God.

With four going on five kids I am going through the motions of how to teach them to have the freedom to choose God, without manipulation. God made us in the beginning to have the ability to live in freedom. The freedom to choose how we are going to live life. Without freedom, we would never have the ability to choose God... we would only be walking zombies with weirdo smiles on our faces. (that might have been a little extreme but you know what I mean) I want my kids to know that they ultimately have the freedom to do what they come to believe is right. Everything in my flesh wants to fight that and say... NO believe what I believe that's that. My job as a parent is not to unleash fury on my children and to say OBEY or else you get it. It is to raise them in an atmosphere that encourages discipleship. A place to learn to find out the whys behind the what's. To build up a internal gauge that guides them on their own to do the right thing. So why is it that everything in me wants to fight to have the dictatorship over my kids?

Fear! Fear that the "world" will get them, that they will make bad decisions, that they won't listen to me when I want them to. In 1John 4:18 it says that "There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment." What does that mean? I LOVE my kids. God LOVES us. If that is true then our love should be as far away from fear as possible.

When do we know that God is not in something? Or a part of a movement or religion? FEAR. If it takes scaring the pants off of us in order for us to listen. God is not part of it. So how do we know when God is a part of something? It moves us to action, to compassion to renual of relationships, connection, to love on others. My desire is to have my children not to fear me but to have such an overflowing love from me that they when in desperate situations or bad decisions, are moved to action, to connect with me because I am a safe place to go to. (Now just for a small precursor that doesn't mean to teach my kids that there are no consequence's to poor decisions, but to teach them life truths. Don't clean your room = loss of a privilege, which of course in adulthood it equals, don't do your work = loss of a job.)

If I really believe what I am living out is truth. Then I don't need to fear for my children. If I teach them how to learn to steward their own freedom. Also to teach them what I know out of my own personal conviction WITH the understanding behind it. They will come to believe what is the truth, without me needing to shove fear and manipulation at them.

Wow... all that from a Jehovah's witness. God bless them. I pray that their eyes will be opened to the love that drives out all fear.

Well it's lunch time.

I pray you all have a fantastic day.
I am challenging myself today to live out the discipleship of my children instead of the fear based parenting.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Resources that have cause amazing revelation.

So I am so excited and pumped to get back into the swing of things and continue to implement what I have been learning in the last couple years about parenting. Some stuff has been lived and learned, some has been information from other parents, but allot of refining I have gotten has been a few really awesome parenting books. My sister-in-law about 4years ago started passing on some material and I just loved it. It started a spiral of reading about parenting. I am not usually a big reader. Or at least I thought, but something that hits my core... well I can't help but chewing on it and working it out in my life. I love how much God has revealed to me through these books. I have read a few but there have been three that have really impacted my life and have been continually sifting me and keeping my head in check.

Not the first book that I have read but I think one of my favorites is definitely "Loving Our Kids On Purpose. Making a heart to heart connection." by Danny Silk. It's written in such a personal life learned way, that is very easy to read and(I felt) instantly applicable to your life. To try to condense it, there are a few different themes or concept that Danny touches on, or that I got directly out of the book. The first is that we as parents have the responsibility to show our kids the direct example of God's love. That we are no longer showing our children the punishment of "sins" but the discipline or better the discipleship of learning how to steward the freedom that God has given us. We are to allow our children to have the freedom to learn lessons in the safety of our leadership when it is not life threatening and before any decisions that have detrimental effects on their future. Just as God's greatest desire is to stay connected to our heart and for us to choose to stay connected to His heart, we want to as parents example the consistent connection with them that builds in the kids the desire to then want to stay connected with us. Without guilt, condemnation or lack of grace for lessons that they WILL need to learn and go through in order to become fantastically functioning Godly adults. This totally doesn't quite give the book justice but you get the idea.

One of the first more traditional workbooks that I read and went through was "Entrusted With A Child's Heart" By Besty Corning. Now it's been a while since I pulled this one out but I just love this book because of the fact it was VERY Biblically based. I should say this work book, helps you go through so many concepts that on a daily basis naturally you wouldn't think to far into. Some of the topics that the book dives deep into are: Laying a biblical foundation of faith, Establishing authority, Creating order in your home, Building strong character in your kids, Encouraging good relationships, Dealing with manipulation and rebellion and Fostering spiritual disciplines. Allot to digest but sooo awesome to start you down the path of purposeful parenting.

Finally one of the most solid teaching books I have read is "Grace Based Parenting" by Dr. Tim Kimmel. Tim teaches you also that we need to mirror the heart of God for our children. He focuses on the big picture of "grace based parenting", a need to focus on their inner needs, creating an atmosphere of grace, building character into their hearts and aiming them at true greatness. He talks about how every person is functioning off of three driving inner needs 1. A secure love, 2. a significant purpose and 3. a strong hope. He shows us how to parent in a way makes it natural for our children to be filled in those areas in a Godly healthy way, through our example. This one was not the easiest read I found but definitely worth it to really get the why's and the how's behind our well intentioned parenting.

Well I hope that this has helped someone out there. :) There is so much excellent resources that we have at our fingertips.

If anyone has anymore books that they have really enjoyed or heard of please pass them on. I am on the look out to continue to learn more.

Blessing everyone.

PS. here are the sites the three books that I was talking about.

1. http://www.lovingourkidsonpurpose.com/

2. http://www.ewach.com/

3. http://www.familymatters.net/