Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Which Way Do I Go?

"Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it." Proverbs 22:6

I've read many child rearing books. Monday I posted my author interview with my latest read, by Rebecca Ingram Powell. She offers a lot of great advice on the middle school years in her book Season of Change. I enjoyed her book and learned a lot.

The bible says "Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it." The problem is what if you don't know which way that is? Oh, yes, I know on the big things, the bible things. I know we should be talking about God all the time. I know they should love the Lord with all their heart and soul and mind, and love their neighbor as themselves. I know they should repent for their sins, and forgive others who sin against them.

But which preschool do you pick? How do you choose whether to home school, private or public educate? How much TV should they watch (this certainly isn't addressed in the bible!). Are video games okay? Should they be allowed to go on sleepovers?

Every decision seems painful. I visualize my child as an adult in therapy..."my mother was the only one who wouldn't let me have a Nintendo DS." How do you train a child in the way they should go...when you don't know which way to go?

I think the answer is indeed found in the bible. If it's not addressed in the bible, perhaps it really isn't as important as I think. TV and video games? Perhaps that falls in the all things in moderation category. Of course I need to make sure the content is appropriate. How about the school issue? Well, I think as long as you prayerfully make your decision any choice is okay. The real issue is are you teaching your child about Jesus.

I think as moms we need to give ourselves permission to fail. That's right, fail. We aren't perfect. We are sinners. We are going to screw up, lose our cool, make mistakes, and get it wrong. Like our kids, we need to be able to repent and forgive...ourselves! What a great learning experience for our kids, to learn by our mistakes. We can learn from our mistakes too.

Finally, remember 1 Peter 4:8. "Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins." Love your kids when they mess up. Just like our heavenly Father loves us when we do.

**Postscript: I just visited Rebecca's Place this morning, and her blog today completely and unintentionally has a great segway from my article. ("How will they know which way to go?") Must be a God thing. So to get some great insights from someone who is quickly becoming my "Mentor Mom" visit her blog.

Ephesians 6:1-4 ESV -- Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise), “that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.” Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.

Deuteronomy 6:5-9 ESV -- You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

1 John 2:1 -- "My little children, these things I write to you, that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous."


The Patterson 5 said...

Thank you for this post! I really needed to hear that as each day it seems more decisions are to be made. Thank you for the direction back to the Bible for the answers and for keeping it all in focus. You are a jewel!

My ADHD Me said...

My friend Rebecca and I call it our "Parenting skills...and lack of.." Plus it is so much easier to see what the other person is doing "wrong" Wrong may not really be wrong..just different from what we think is "right"...which is sometimes "wrong" but hopefully also sometimes "right".


We just have to pray that we are making the right decisions and for guidance. I do think you hit the nail on the head with one word.."MODERATION". Of course some things are unacceptable but a lot of things are ok...if done in moderation. (Which is one of the things I have to work on).

Julie Gillies said...

I love this post. I tend to be hard on myself, and I think I really needed to hear that I can give myself permission to fail. The world won't end, my kids won't croak, and with the Lord's help, they won't wind up in therapy, either.


Rebecca Ingram Powell said...

Hi CK!

What I loved best about this post was that you mentioned "forgiveness." I had a mom who wasn't too proud to ask me for forgiveness, after an argument or a battle of wills! And as I look back on my own growing up years, I realize that probably 90% of the time (and yeah, I'll give myself 10%!), she was not the one who needed to do the asking! BUT she was the one who knew that the relationship was at stake, and so she was willing to be the one to "go first" when it came to apologizing.

I love all these verse you referenced, too!

My ADHD Me said...

Everyone at my blog is cheering and clapping for Chatty Kelly, who SOLD an article for publication yesterday!!!



My ADHD Me said...

By the way, you would have tons of comments (like I do) if you commented on your own blog multiple times (like I do) :D

See, I just brought your numbers up by three!

My ADHD Me said...

But you see, this is quantity over QUALITY.

My ADHD Me said...


On Purpose said...

This is an awesome post. Reminding us moms we are human, and that failing will happen...but when it does happen to use it to teach our children in that they see that grace is a available for all of us. God gives us grace as mothers...which we then need to pass on to our children!

Great post Kelly!!

Mrs. Sidney said...

Great Post!! I sometimes wonder if I am making the right decisions. It can be hard when we are the only christian family in our family... my husband's family can be hard on me sometimes. I know I will fail at somethings I just want to be sure he is grounded in the Lord.

"B" His Girl said...

What a poet you are Kelly and writer. Keep it up.

Edie said...

Thank you for giving moms permission to fail. I am past the child raising stage but I was judged harshly whenever I made poor decisions, and I've looked back and widhed my family members had tried to teach me what I didn't know instead. I love the scriptues you refered to here.

Wanted to give you a BIG Congratulations on your publication sale! CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP WOO HOO CLAP CLAP CLAP (loud whistling in background) CLAP CLAP CLAP (standing ovation) CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP!

They like you, they really like you. (Sally Field) ;)

Irritable Mother said...

Permission to fail?
Oh, I have needed that often! One of the best things my husband ever said to me, (besides, "Will you marry me?"!!!) was in reference to our kids and my feeling like a failure. He simply asked me, "Where's the grace?"
He reminds me I'm not perfect, and that God's OK with that!
Thanks for this post, Kelly.

Kelley said...

Hi Kelly,
THANK YOU for posting about this book and its author. I have been through middle school with my 4 oldest and am just starting it with my 3 youngest. One thing is certain, you need all the GODLY help and advice you can get!

Also, I really appreciated your comments on the post about my Dad. We live in such a difficult and broken world and it helps to know others who have risen above the pain of the past to glorify the Lord with their present and future. Thanks so much for the encouragement!!

HisPrincess said...

Jesus is the key here.

So long as all decisions are made prayerfully (and obediently) then it will be fine.

Great post!