Saturday, September 18, 2010

Some More Lawrence Lucas

The Things You'll See is still one of my favorite parenting books. I love it for its wisdom, its gentleness and its brevity. Each chapter gives little snippets of insight into lovingly bringing up children for the Lord and they equip without wearing down. So refreshing. I keep coming back to it time and time again. I wanted to share this one because its pertinent in my life with all my children...but especially Joshua right now as he turns two in a week and just needs so much direction. May we all be reminded to keep on keeping on. Not for us but for them. And ultimately--for His Glory!!

Avoiding Confrontation

Discipline your son while there is hope; do not set your heart on his destruction.
Proverbs 19:18

Rescue those who are being taken away to death; hold back those who are stumbling to the slaughter. If you say, "Behold, we did not know this," does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who keeps watch over your soul know it, and will he not requite man according to his work?
Proverbs 24:11-12

Most of us would avoid confrontation given the choice. Yet training children necessarily calls for confrontation. Not the pugnacious, in-your-face variety that has come to dominate our understanding of the word, but the clear, loving presentation of a person's sin to that person, for their good and sometimes for the reconciliation of a relationship. There's no way to avoid it, nor should we seek to.

Folly is bound up in the heart of a child; the Scriptures are clear on this. It threatens our children's well-being. It will spell their death if not rooted out. Therefore we should welcome every opportunity to discover and unearth its faintest traces. We should diligently watch for it, so that we can remove it. Like a malignant cancer it must not be left untreated.

I know this sounds dramatic, but it's not overstated. If we dread confrontation with our children, if we try to buy their compliance or sweet talk them into obeying, we need to turn our thinking completely around. We need to quit dreading and start welcoming every opportunity we're given to see the beginnings of sin or folly, like an oncologist who wants to find every trace of cancer, to eradicate it. This is not welcoming evil; it's welcoming the discovery of evil so that it can be driven out.

When we think "anything to avoid a scene", we need to face what's included in the "anything". We may save ourselves some unpleasantness or embarrassment, but the cost will be borne by our children, and it will be staggering. Besides, you need feel no shame about addressing your children's folly in the company of the wise. They've all been there and they're inwardly approving, and often interceding for you.

If we feel the need to promise them a snack later so they won't pitch a fit about not getting one now, if we're training them to cheerfully obey only when we use the right tone of voice, or offer an adequate explanation, then we're merely doing our best to keep symptoms from appearing. Disciplining is neither pleasant for us nor for our children. That won't change. The pleasantness of its fruit, though, in both your lives and the lives of your children, will exceed your bravest expectations.


  1. Love this post.

    Now if I can just find the perfect balance between rooting out sin and measuring out grace to my children I'll be all set!

    I tend to want to boot camp my way through the day with my 2yo and I'm wondering if that is just the stage he's in where I need to demand first time obedience and be a drill instructor about it, or if I need to change something up and be more gracious with him.

  2. Jodi,
    Isn't that the truth!! So hard to know. I struggle with that balance so often. God give us both wisdom! Glad to know I'm not the only one.