Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Confessions of a dictator

I once read that we as parents are in a sorts the "Holy Spirit" to our children until they come to the place of repentance and trust in Jesus Christ. We are the ones that shape and mold their conscience by teaching and instructing in right and wrong.

"When the Father sends the Advocate as my representative--that is, the Holy Spirit--He will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have taught you." John 14:26

There is also the law (rules), used by the Lord, as a "guardian."

"The law was our guardian until Christ came; it protected us until we could be made right with God through faith." Galatians 3:24

The Lord has given both His Spirit and His law to lead us to a place of repentance.

The law: "it was given alongside the promise to show people their sins."
Galatians 3:19

The Holy Spirit: "...convicting the world of sin and guiding in all truth."
John 16:8 & 13

In Deuteronomy 6:20-25, after God set up the "law," He told His people,

"In the future your children will ask you, 'What is the meaning of these laws, decrees and regulations that the Lord our God has commanded us to obey?' Then you must tell them, 'the Lord our God commanded us to obey all these decrees and to hear Him so He can continue to bless us and preserve our lives, as He has done to this day. For we will be counted as righteous when we obey all the commands the Lord our God has given us.'"

Now that this foundation is laid, I would like to share what exactly the Lord has been showing me. The Lord reminded me that He knows that I love my children. I want the best for them--to know and walk in the Truth. But....I have become a dictator, " a person exercising absolute power, esp. a ruler who has absolute, unrestricted control." I have stopped trusting the law and the Spirit to convict and guide my children which means I have stopped trusting the Lord.

"The Lord your God is going ahead of you. He will fight for you, just as you saw Him do in Egypt. And you saw how the Lord your God cared for you along the way as you traveled through the wilderness, just as a father cares for His child. BUT, even after all He did, you refused to trust the Lord your God."
Deuteronomy 1:29-32

The Lord is faithful. He desires that none should perish and that includes my little ones. I have allowed myself to get to a place where I dictate nearly every move my children make. I have not eaten a meal is peace for months because of the stress I bring to the table--wanting my children to have perfect manners. And this is just a small example. And what drives a dictator? Pride. I think that I can do a better job of convicting and guiding my children than the Lord can. Just like the Israelites thought that they were better guides in the wilderness than the Lord was.

"This is what I told you, but you would not listen. Instead, again, you rebelled against the Lord's command and arrogantly went into the hill country to fight." Deuteronomy 1:43

Jesus has given us ALL things for life and godliness in Christ Jesus. As parents we are too "teach our children the word, lead them to the cross and love them with the love of Christ. Yes, we need "laws" to keep order. We also use "laws" to show our children their sin--accompanied by discipline. And we are, in a sense,like the holy Spirit, used by the Lord to prick their conscience. But all of this must be done with ABSOLUTE trust in the Lord.

So, I am learning to trust my children's Creator. They are His workmanship. And although I will continue to guide and instruct them in the way they should go, and discipline them "to save them from hell," (Proverbs 23) I will do so in trust--not in my own sufficiency, but in God's.

"How joyful are those who fear the Lord." Psalm 112

The way I have been acting, you would think I thought,

"How joyful are those who fear mommy."

I am now desiring to,

"confidently trust the Lord to care for them." Psalm 112

I love the book, "Sheperding a Child's Heart." I encourage all parents to use this book alongside the Bible as they raise their children.

"While it is true that disciplined children are a joy to their parents, as God's agents, you cannot discipline for mere matters of self interest or personal convenience. Your correction must be tied to the principles and absolutes of the Word of God. The issues of discipline are issues of character development and honoring God. It is God's non-negotiable standard that fuels correction and discipline." Shepherding a Child's Heart, pg. 56


Robin said...

Good stuff Summer!! We will DEFINITELY talk about this quite alot as we raise our kids alongside each other!! I'm listening to a new series called "Loving Your Kids on Purpose" which is completely changing my mindset and I've only just started it!!

Mason said...

Pretty cool! We like the book Shepherding a Child's Heart too.

thephotographerswife said...

Have you ever read "Hints on child training" by Trumbull - Elizabeth Elliot's grandfather?

I am so blessed everytime I read it - I cry, I laugh, I'm inspired to personally know the Lord more personally, before being a parent, my first responsibility is as a child of God. Anyway, I'm ranting, but I think you get the picture - I LOVE that book! :)

Anonymous said...

I know where you are coming from, your words I think are every Godly mother's desire...But you have found a great truth. And one I am still learning even though my baby is just twenty!...We are not there creator, we are their parents, and we mold them for God, not mommy!..One thing we have always told our daughters, is that if ...err...when we made mistakes, they were in love, not in our desire to be selfish, though at times like you, we were. I think the Holy Spirits convicting power is such an understated key to our daily lives! I still feel that they way we raised our girls reflects in there day to day life even though they are adults and on there own...for we set the foundations that they grow on...BUT..with that said God's Promise are true and test worthy...Raise them for Christ and they will remain with Him...phew..and many sighs later...They Joy of raising Godly women for Christ is the most amazing thing I will ever do...not even giving birth compares to that!

;-) said...

OOps, Sorry, I previously logged in as Mason. :P I am not sure how I did that.