I have been absent for quite a while. This may have been the longest I’ve gone without posting since I started this blog 7 years ago.
God has been leading me in new directions, to new challenges. I have been putting off sharing because I’m not “there”. Not good enough at it. Not completely ready to be that real. That raw.
There are a lot of layers to this journey, but the main crux is that God has asked me to change my entire way of thinking about this parenting thing and the relationships I’m building with my babies.
More than anything, I want to lead my children like Jesus. I want to point them to Him in all we do. I fail miserably more often than not-it seems-but I try. Too, I research my parenting decisions to the point of annoyance: cloth v disposables, home v school, home v hospital, repeat Cesarean v VBAC, unprocessed foods v Standard American Diet, et cetera ad nauseam.
For many years, up until a few months ago, this meant disciplining according to the “Biblical” methods of punishment, including spanking and swatting. And, because of my upbringing and spirited nature, yelling. Most of the time, the swats were ‘by the book’, not angry, not out of control, doing my best to dole out “Biblical discipline”, and show God to my children.
Now I’m changing all that.
I took a second and third (and many many more) look at what the Bible really says. I prayed a lot. I googled a lot. I turned to commentaries and back to the Bible.
Until now, I had a very, without realizing it, adversarial style of parenting; an us v. them attitude. I thought you had to ‘win at all costs’, you had to make them ‘submit. I honestly thought this was right. I thought this was Godly. I believed in this. I trusted men and women of the faith who are after our children’s hearts for the Lord, who I believe are well meaning but very wrong.
Until now, I thought “gentle parenting” was UNparenting. I thought taking punitive measures to force obedience was the right thing to do. I thought I could ‘break a child’s will without breaking their spirit’. I thought this was best for them, for our family.
It is hard to admit when you are wrong.
I was wrong.
I am learning new tools. I am learning new ways in which to interact with our beautiful gifts from above. I am failing. A lot. I am thankful His mercies are new every morning. I am thankful for this new challenge.
Now I know better and I’ll do better. These precious gifts are too valuable not to.
8 thoughts on “A hard post to write”
I am so thankful that each day is new…I have "messed up" soooo many times!! You have a beautiful family…blessings to you as you raise them up to follow Jesus!
I love you!! You're an awesome mama! I'm so proud of you not only for writing this post, but for making the changes necessary to do better for your family. I'm excited for all of you!!!
I've been through a similar journey of change the last several years. Though I've not read the entire book yet, I wanted to recommend to you the book Heartfelt Discipline by Clay Clarkson. His chapter specifically on spanking was the most helpful expository look into the topic I've come across so far in "christian parenting" books.
I don't like to be wrong either and will exhaust myself trying to not make mistakes because I hate ever having to admit them. But I've realized that repentance is not just for Christians who "aren't good enough". Nobody is good enough and we ALL need to repent daily of our sin. And what better gift could we give our children than to humbly repent to them when we find we are wrong? I think this is a HUGE way for us to show humility before our children and of course God, and to lead our children by example in showing them that there never comes a point of having it all figured out, and that we are all always in need of a savior.
Sorry to ramble on! Just wanted to encourage you that the point you're at right now is not a bad one. I would venture to say it's a perfect place to rest in God's grace for us .
I struggle with this as well. I have problems with current thinking that children are equals and should be treated as such. They are not, God has given them to us to teach and raise to know Him. They are children and cannot think/reason on an adult level…physically not able to yet. And they have to be taught to do the right thing. I don't have to teach my children to say "no"! I definitely know some things I do are obviously wrong and am trying to change them. I go back and forth with swats. Do you think they are completely unbiblical? Can you give me some verses for that? Maybe I need to wait for future posts on how you're going about this? 🙂 Also trying to do the best with my kids and balancing the best techniques to help them want to obey.
Love your honesty and openness. Thanks for sharing. I feel your heart in this post and am there with you. Trying so hard to show my babes who God is and figure out the way to do it with His love. Failing daily but keeping on! Hugs to you momma . I will be praying for you!
Christal–I appreciate your questions. Here is one of the first articles I read when I started this journey. Maybe it will be of help to you as well. http://parentingfreedom.com/discipline/
This is so honest! I too am a researcher….but you hit the nail on the head there – we should jut come back to the Word, right? I've only stumbled on your blog periodically, but just wanted to comment in encouragement. 🙂
I have been an UN-parent since the beginning. My husband is your former self it's rough. My MIL told me when my son was a baby (my 1st child) that I was letting him "WIN". I so didn't even have the capacity in my brain to fathom how she cold say that let alone think it. I still feel that way. It's not about winning or losing – it's about growing together as a family! Good for you – I hope this new path makes you happy!! (and I mean that in a nice way!!)