Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Christian Parenting Fundamentals

When you think of good parenting, what comes to mind? I think for many of us, good parenting usually revolves around what we DO: everything from, "Should spanking be used as a form of discipline?" to, "Should I allow my children to drink beverages with high fructose corn syrup?" There are countless dos and don'ts in parenting. Quite often, two different sources of parenting information will give two contradictory pieces of advice on what you DO to handle a given situation.

But what I've learned is that parenting isn't about what we DO or DON'T DO. It is about who we ARE as parents, what behaviors we model, what personal patience we can muster, how much love we can demonstrate toward others. We need to shift our focus from parenting dos and don'ts to who we are, spiritually, as parents. When we make that shift, the dos and don'ts start to fall into place. And even if they don't, they don't seem to matter as much.

In Christian life, in general, I notice a great many people ask the question, "Is this certain behavior a sin?" I think we're afraid of this legalistic idea that the rules we follow might not actually be sinful because of the freedom we have in Christ. But this line of thinking opens the door to figuring out what we can get away with, rather than seeking the heart of God.

Because of this, I'm always drawn to 1 Corinthians 10:23:

"Everything is permissible"--but not everything is beneficial. "Everything is permissible"--but not everything is constructive.

God wants what is best for us...and while certain behaviors might not technically be labeled a sin, it also doesn't mean it is what is best for us...and by extension, what is best for our children.

Rather than ask ourselves, "Is this wrong?" the question really should be, "How does this help me love God and/or others better?"

This is a driving force behind my desires not only for my own life, but for the parenting decisions I make. This is also the fundamental force behind the Christian parenting advice and teaching I will present here. It isn't to suggest it is the only way, or that other ways of parenting or wrong...but only that I want to ultimately do what is BEST for my kids, not simply ENOUGH. And that starts with me. Sometimes that takes slow and painful change within myself. Truth is, I'm a sinful human being still being perfected. (Shocking revelation, I know!)

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

A (kind of) new blog

My blog is going through some changes. It has a new look and a new focus. Well, kind of. I've always had various posts on parenting here. The difference is that I intend to make this blog more exclusively about parenting...and Christian parenting at that.

I'm gradually cleaning out old posts that are "off topic". But I plan to make new posts about the subject that is most near and dear to my heart: raising children to love the Lord. I will likely delve into related topics, including personal spirituality and the marriage relationship as well. They are all intertwined in a way that can't fully be separated.

This post is the "FYI". My next post should actually contain some meat.