Thursday, November 30, 2006

Greater purposes

There are countless acts of discipline I do with my children every day that do not come to full fruition in the momment they are given. Awhile back, I had a problem with a child who would stick out her tongue at her sisters in a mean, determined, and ugly way. It was a terrible habit, and it needed to be dealt with. It took many acts of discipline to change her ways. In the momment, she did not see the greater purpose in the continual discipline, but it did pay off, and she no longer sticks out her tongue like that.

There are countless bible truths I am teaching to my children, day in, day out, the living Word poured down them to water and nourish that seed that my husband and I have planted. Do they understand fully what His words and His ways say? No. But it is for a greater purpose, that they, or perhaps even me, do not understand. I obey, they obey, the purposes are fulfilled.

And me, how many truths learned, how many prayers prayed, how much faith given, and, yes it is for a greater purpose, far greater than my prayers that I want answered.

I have learned that we cannot underestimate God, that "my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways."

Part of the idea of greater purposes is in parenting. We parent deliberately. We parent as we try to live our own lives: living our beliefs. That means that every decision made for our children is made for a greater purpose in mind: raising children who love Christ. Raising children who will live their life for Christ fully.

And so, as I think about the influences in my children's life, I think about the greater purposes in it. That is part of the picture.

I was pointed to this article this week.

Our children cannot get out of the influence of society. It is always there. That is why we are very strict in our family about the media our children are exposed to. My children's minds are pure, and I want to protect them and keep them innocent for as long as I can. Our culture and society do not help with that. I even find that no matter how hard we try to protect them, that the influence will still be there, though not as much as if they had "free reign".

I thought Holly had very good posts here and here.

Then Katherine's.

Then this one.

Let's keep on with the dialogue. And let's help each other be strong in our convictions, to go against what everyone else is telling us (consciously or unconsciously) to do, and to do what we know is good and right.

Love to hear your thoughts.


pauline said...

oh what a timely post! i read your blog and love it. and today was one of those days where you discipline and discipline etc and etc because 3 under 4 can keep you busy, somedays more than others and today was one of them!!
then i have to remind myself (or be reminded by wonderful bloggers like yourself :O) or the wonderful and amazing Lord) that it pays off. there is a reason for doing it. and we only see a tiny speck of that reason. knowing that it is right in the Lord is the reason that we persist in it.
and tho i have yet to read all the links you added i know from practise and in my heart that protecting them from the world at such a young age is vital. so thank you for a beautiful blessing of a post!
love from pauline in australia

L.L. Barkat said...

Ah, discipline. Yes, it's good to remember the goal!

I wonder... have you read Born to Buy? It's an amazing look into how industry plays kids against parents. And, remarkably, as discussed in the book, kids seem to know this dynamic exists.

tonia said...

I don't know if you read Touchstone, but they have an excellent article this month on "enchanting children"...keeping the moral imagination pure.

Over the years, the Lord has been showing me that it is important to offer the very best choices to our kids...not because everything in the world is evil...but because we have to develop their palate for excellent things and not "junk food."

A child fed only McDonalds will not love squash and broccoli. *smile*

Great post Andrea, and very timely for me as well.

Antracia said...

Your blog has become one of my favorites specifically because of thoughtful posts like this. GREAT food for thought. Parenting with a purpose takes great discipline on our part as well.

bluemountainmama said...

it is such a hard balance- to not overly shelter, but to limit their exposure to the influences we don't want in their lives. it feels like such an uphill battle so i have to totally rely and trust in God, or i'd be worrying all the time. i have to claim and trust the verse about "teaching them in the ways they should go... and they will return to it." i'll have to check out those links.

Andrea said...

Blue mountain~
you are right, there is a balance. Rules without relationship equal rebellion, and rules with relationship equal freedom. I just read that the other day and loved that. Always something to remember when dealing with the "sheltering" issue. Trusting God is the biggie, too.

Tonia~I'll have to look at that article. I like that what you said about developing a palate for the good things.

Antracia~ Glad you read! Thanks for commenting.

L.L.~ No I have not read it. But I can imagine it's full of eye-opening things..more to trust God with, right?

Pauline~I think it's so important to hold each other up to our convictions. It makes traveling the road easier,don't you think? thanks for your sweet comment.

pauline said...

would it be possible to ask for some direction in accessing the touchstone that was mentioned by tonia as i would love to have a read but dont know how to look for it? thank you!
pauline in oz again

Jennifer said...

It's good that you're a Deuteronomy 6:7,8,9 (plus some others :) ) kind of parent. I also agree that all the junk on T.V. (not to mention cyberspace)has to be screened, but some shows, when watched together, can be the launching pad required for a needed discussion. I think, in particular, of the "New" DeGrassi Junior High TV show; it reminds me of the "After School Specials" that were popular in my youth. I think sheltering innocence is good. I saw a paper article which read "Ten Is the New Fifteen." Why do our youth have to grow up so quickly? But, I do think there comes a time where "sheltering" needs to become "preparing." If our young people are going to grow up and live life in this society, and not a secluded commune, they have to be prepared because the wackos/weirdos/whatever-you-want- to-call-them are out there waiting for for naive.

Anyway, kudos to everyone raising children in this day and time!

Andrea said...

I totally agreee. Up to a certain age, I agree with sheltering. However, I will and am not going to show my 8 year old or even 13 year old violence or sex on T.V. to "discuss" it. ( I know that's not what you meant, but I feel I have to be clear.) At a certain age, I believe they become ready for that kind of stuff (at a measured degree) to be able to discern and discuss.
However, I find no matter how hard you try to shelter the little ones, they still are not totally naive--it's the culture we live in.
(I think I said that in my post.)
That very article you mention is what spurred my post. Maybe you didn't see the links.

Anyway, I appreciate your input, I know you are in the "trenches" too, with the class and age you teach.

Katherine@Raising Five said...

Every now and then I have to remind myself to look how far we've come. It gets discouraging if I only look at the daily struggles. Yes, my kids have their issues (and so do I!), but if I look at where they were two years ago, I can see growth. That keeps me going. Thanks for posting this - I'm in there with you!

Jennifer said...

No, didn't read the attached posts. And no, you don't (nor anyone else) needs to show a child violence or sex on TV to discuss it. Those issues can be discussed without the input of media. However, there are some shows that are noteworthy. Every year when I teach The Diary of Anne Frank, I encourage students to sit down with their parents and watch The Pianist and/or Schindler's List. All I'm saying is that media, when used correctly, can be a good thing. :)

Anonymous said...

I have to say again how happy I am to have found your blog! I read this post, and it so much reminded me of an article I read recently, Selling Sex and Corruption to Your Kids (although they do differ at some points).... Anyway, I also loved your post about "Sons!" I have 1 son and am learning the same things... and I have a cute picture of my son with his daddy playing guitar similar to yours with the mandolin! Is your husband a musician or worship pastor? My husband loves to sing and play and is a contemporary worship pastor for our church.

God bless!

Andrea said...

My husband plays bass in the worship band. He "plays around" with the mandolin and guitar (I think he's good, he doesn't :)...enough to sing with the kids. I love that picture of your hubby and son, it's similar to mine, you are right.

I also read that article as well. It is along the same vein as what I was discussing.

Holly said...

Andrea...thanks for the links. I appreciate that so much. :)

I think it is such a balance. (As you know after reading my lengthy treatise.) I also just am realizing that the further I go in this parenting thing, the less I know. :) I think it is possible to do our very very best, and yet, for our children to make poor choices. That doesn't mean we don't try, of course...but it does mean that we have to allow God to work in their hearts. It means that we have to believe and trust that He will finish the work that He has begun - even if we don't see the results immediately.

p.s....I love your new picture! :)