Saturday, December 08, 2007

What to do?

When my toddler throws crayons on the floor and bites his sister and doesn't come when I call...

God says...love him more.

When my young daughters do not clean their room when I ask, when they whine, or demand all of my energy...

God says...love them more.

When my teen young lady doesn't help out as I think she should, or do what I expect...

God says...love her more.

God, this seems easy enough. I love them better than I love myself!

Yes, but you want to control them, choose for them, make them robots. And I love you in spite of your failings. Do the same for them. Love unconditionally. It's the only way they can succeed, can strive, can thrive. Show them. Romance their heart.

"God created things which had free will. That means creatures which can go either wrong or right. Some people think they can imagine a creature which was free but had no possibility of going wrong; I cannot. If a thing is free to be good it is also free to be bad. And free will is what has made evil possible. Why, then, did God give them free will? Because free will, though it makes evil possible, is also the only thing that makes possible any love or goodness or joy worth having. A world of automata--of creatures that worked like machines--would hardly be worth creating. The happiness which God designs for His highest creatures is the happiness of being freely, voluntarily united to Him and to each other in an ecstasy of love and delight compare with which the most rapturous love between a man and a woman on this earth is mere milk and water. And for that they must be free." ~ C.S. Lewis "Mere Christianity"

12 comments:

Terry said...

I agree totally. Now my task is to walk it out consistently. Easier said than done.

Wendy said...

Thanks Andrea, I needed this reminder today.

Dawn said...

That quote from C.S. Lewis has long been one of my favorites but to put it in the light of parenting has helped me see it in a whole new way that is very helpful. What a great perspective.

The NON-Superwoman said...

What a lovely example of how God deals with us--and how we should deal with our own children. I LOVE this perspective. Thanks for sharing. ~www.nonsuperwomanchronicles.com

Courtney said...

Love your thoughts today, Andrea. I find myself being a control freak often and am trying to let go of that before the baby arrives. Not an easy vice to get rid of, but with God's help and reminders like yours, all things are possible!

Tracy said...

Oh how I needed this today... Thank you.

payton said...

Thanks Andrea. I too needed this reminder today.

Llama Momma said...

So timely...thank you!!

Christine said...

Love CS Lewis!! And I'm reading this shortly after I had to tell my 5 year old to eat her dinner and stop playing around about 198 times. Ah, this is good for me to read...

:)

grace said...

So true, and I don't even have teenagers (: I thank you for this post-I feel like when my kids don't listen I should make them. This is so hard for me, I know I need to do so much better with my response and to try to practice loving more than critizing. I'm constantly asking God for help in this area.

laura said...

ahh. thank you sister-friend. after last night spent with a five year old and a stomach virus, i needed the reminder to love my family more. have a wonderful Christmas.

www.annkroeker.wordpress.com said...

I remember an author telling about how in some fairy tales, the beast is tamed by love, like in Beauty & the Beast...I suppose there are others, but that's the only one that comes to mind.

Anyway, she said she had been thinking about that very thing one day when her son was little, and he threw a humongous fit. He was so angry he was red in the face. She thought of that principle of the "beast" being tamed by love.

So instead of sending him to his room or giving him some other negative consequence, she pulled him close and held him. His little arms were flailing as he worked out all his frustration. But she just showed him physical love in a warm, motherly embrace.

Eventually, he melted into her arms, subdued, as it were, by love, patience, and compassion.

Love doesn't always have to look like that, of course, but your post reminded me of that story.