Wednesday, February 9, 2011

unfabled parenting:: The Long Suffering

I'll admit. Long suffering is not a word I have used often, or ever. I had to look it up actual and the definition I found was this: patiently enduring wrongs or difficulties. YUP. We have to endure lots of difficulties as parents. But are we enduring patiently? Not I. I do not like green eggs and Ham. Especially for the 400th time. Especially when that green eggs and ham are actually a child smarting off, or saying no, or dumping peas on the floor, or hitting their brother, or hitting their brother back, or hiding toys under the bed so they dont get put away... you know... all the stuff that drives us nuts. The stuff we put rules against. The things they DO. I have to wonder after spending days on end getting so frustrated with behavior.. finding myself being anything but long suffering... maybe it isn't what they are doing that I'm upset about after all. Maybe its because behind the doing is a yucky heart. I highly recommend these two books Shepherding a Child's Heart and Instructing a Child's Heart. Also the Desiring God  website where this list originally came from. Both of these books deal with parenting from a biblical, Gospel centered focused instead of a worldly behavioral focus. Every disobedient, yucky thing we see in our children can be directly related back to OUR sinful nature. We all sin. We are all born sinning. As we learn to discipline our children, we must remember that God disciplines us as well... because he loves us. Deuteronomy 8:5 says "Know then in your heart that as a man disciplines his son so the LORD your God disciplines you." In Jeremiah chapter 15 we find The LORD conversing with Jerusalem. After handing down a harsh judgement and warning Jerusalem that He will turn them over to their enemies Jerusalem begs mercy saying in verse 15 "LORD, you understand; remember me and care for me. Avenge me on my persecutors. You are long-suffering—do not take me away." He responds in vs. 19 “If you repent, I will restore you that you may serve me; if you utter worthy, not worthless, words, you will be my spokesman. Let this people turn to you, but you must not turn to them. 20 I will make you a wall to this people, a fortified wall of bronze; they will fight against you but will not overcome you, for I am with you to rescue and save you,” declares the LORD.
21 “I will save you from the hands of the wicked and deliver you from the grasp of the cruel.”
For I am with you to rescue you and save you. We need to be there to rescue our children. Angry or not, frustrated or tired, exhausted from the battle... we need to rescue our babies as best we can. How? With the same grace we are being rescued by. By praying that our Father who is so patient with us.. who is long-suffering... who we know understands.. praying that he will help us be patient and long-suffering with our children.

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