Monday, January 17, 2011
Loving the Standard
"When it comes to parenting, you have often heard me say that our parental responsibility does not consist in getting young people to grit their teeth and conform to the standard. The task before us is to bring up our children in such a way as to love the standard. This is not possible to do with externally driven rules. It is a function of loyalty, and loyalty is based on love and relationship." Doug Wilson
This was a great little missive on parenting. I haven't been parenting for very long but the more I do, the more this sort of thing makes sense to me. We can force our kids into obedience for sure...but for how long? And doesn't Christ say, "If you love me, you'll obey my commandments."? Isn't that our goal in training--to get them to want to obey because they love us and are loyal to us?
How is this accomplished?? How do we get our kids to love the standard that we've set and not just woodenly adhere to it?
I guess that's the whole point of Doug's post-loyalty and relationship.
This whole idea challenges me tremendously-seriously it does. I'm a rules person. I like my rules and I stick to them. Although consistency is a huge part of parenting well (at least from my very little experience), it's not the whole picture. It can't be. There has to be more to the equation...there's simply too many variables.
I don't necessarily know how to get there or what it all looks like. But I pray for wisdom in this. Because I think the whole point is that we want their hearts, not just their good behavior.
Our pastor always uses this analogy in parenting: Clean the whole cup...the inside as well as the outside.
Challenging and good. And great for rule followers like me. Check it out.