This past week of tragedy points out a critical flaw in the parenting style of America!
What is this flaw? It is the flaw of failure of shepherding the hearts of our children! We are so busy as a nation appeasing our children, befriending our children, and trying to make our children happy at any expense that we have failed in the simple act shepherding them.
We ask the question of our children, what do YOU want to do, what makes YOU happy, how do YOU want to do this and that? When did we stop asking ourselves, "What is best for them?" I believe that at the time that Children became the center of the household, rather than Christ guiding the parents as the center of the household, we lost our way. PARENTS... Stop and ask yourself, if you had the same decision making ability in your arsenal at birth-18 years old as we put in the arsenal of our children's hands today, would you have made wise decisions for your entire household?
NO!!!! Now, I am not saying, kids cannot make good decisions... Don't get me wrong, but when it comes to the big decisions of life, we are called to not sit back and simply pray for them, but instead to shepherd them. Guide them, instruct them, gently prod them in the right path, DON'T JUST SIT BACK AND HOPE FOR THE BEST!
When we stopped asking God what was best for our children and starting asking them to make their own decisions, we started failing at shepherding. I understand, we love seeing our children happy, but sometimes the best decisions will not make them happy, but will make them into the best and more Godly time individuals. Let’s explore God’s word on this...
The following is The Shema. It is one of only two prayers that are specifically commanded in Torah (the other is Birkat Ha-Mazon -- grace after meals). It is the oldest fixed daily prayer in Judaism, recited morning and night since ancient times. It's importance should not be understated. I have underlined some words for emphasis...
Deuteronomy 6:4-9 New Living Translation (NLT)
4 “Listen, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord alone. 5 And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. 6 And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. 7 Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. 8 Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders. 9 Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
Note, this is not a passive, but instead active approach to child raising. There is a constant sense of guidance. No where does it say, do this if it makes your children happy, it COMMANDS guidance, instruction, repetition.
A few more parenting verses...
Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.
The rod and reproof give wisdom, but a child left to himself brings shame to his mother.
Whoever spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him.
I think if parents would begin listening to Christ once again, putting him in the middle of their marriage relationship, realize that God commanded them to be the leader of the home under his instruction, the parents bound by Christ are the center of the home, and they need to LEAD children, not follow Children... Then, and only then, will we see a turn around in American culture and stop seeing the senseless acts of violence we have seen in the past and our homes, our schools, and our nation will be a better place for it.
My 2 Cents for Today