Monday, February 4, 2008

The Joys of Parenting

As I write this, both boys are trying to get to sleep. It's been a trade-off: first one will cry, and then the other will make him laugh. Then, that one will get in trouble for getting out of bed and keeping the other up, and he starts crying. So, the other one gets riled back up and the next thing I know, I have both of them actively participating in a game called: let's stay up 'till mommy gets home from grocery shopping, making daddy look like he can't handle a night alone. As they say, if the shoe fits...

As I was frustrated with getting my kids to bed, I was reminded of a verse I had read in Colossians, the book we are currently studying at church. The verse is Colossians 3:21:
  • NIV "Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged."
  • The Message: "don't come down too hard on your children or you'll crush their spirits."
  • NASB: "Fathers, do not exasperate your children, so that they will not lose heart."
  • King James "Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged."
The challenge is to discipline and help my kids grow up to be respectful and loving. How do I do that without "exasperating," "provoking them to anger" or "embittering" them?

If you look back to verses 12-14, I think Paul offers an explanation for how to prevent any resentment/exasperation/anger from building in a child when I discipline, get frustrated, and make mistakes as a parent. The great equalizer is love. Read those verses and see what you think.

I also dug into Henry's commentary on the verse, just to see what a real Biblical scholar had to say.
And parents must be tender, as well as children obedient (Col_3:21): “Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged. Let not your authority over them be exercised with rigour and severity, but with kindness and gentleness, lest you raise their passions and discourage them in their duty, and by holding the reins too tight make them fly out with greater fierceness.” The bad temper and example of imprudent parents often prove a great hindrance to their children and a stumbling-block in their way; see Eph_6:4. And it is by the tenderness of parents, and dutifulness of children, that God ordinarily furnishes his church with a seed to serve him, and propagates religion from age to age.
That last portion is pretty humbling: as a parent, I'm helping water the seeds that God will use to serve Him.

We thought you would enjoy the video above when Isaac and I got to play ball together while Renee and Asher read. Also, for those of you who didn't catch it, here's the latest I&A Update.

  • Often says "I'm thinking about opening Gordon." (meaning, opening the Thomas character Gordon at the Children's Museum.)
  • Favorite foods: fruit snacks, sausage, waffles w/syrup, grapes, chocolate milk, vitamins, chips
  • Dresses up and takes care of his teddy bears, with Asher's diapers and Isaac's pjs
  • Plays with mommy's Christmas houses and figurines, without the lights
  • Stayed dry one night!
  • Says "hopelessly" instead of "hopefully"
  • Said "Are you still my mom?" and looked at me with a very puzzled look when I put my hair in a ponytail for the first time
  • Went to my friend Kim's house to play with her kids. When I picked him up I asked him about it:
    Mom - Isaac, did you see Serae's giunea pig? Isaac - What gunea pig? Mom - The white one in the cage. Isaac - What gunea pig? (on and on....finally....) Isaac - OOOHHHHH, you mean the smooshed kitty?

  • Is transitioning to one nap a day
  • Is starting playpen time and does well for about 10-15 minutes
  • Is learning the sign for "more"
  • Got his first haircut, just a trim around his ears

1 comment:

Karis said...

What a great parenting encouragement from God's Word! I needed that. It also reminded me to order a book called Grace Based Parenting that I have been wanting to read -- I didn't find it at the library and kinda' just forgot about it.

It was fun reading the update on the kids. I actually have one like that for the girls started too that I haven't posted yet. Reading yours made me want to get ours posted so our family can enjoy seeing the changes like I enjoyed seeing how your kids are growing up.

Oh, and Kayla enjoyed the video of Isaac.