Be the Parent

Something has really been weighing on me lately and I couldn’t put my finger on it until I saw this video of a 31 year old … repeat 31 YER OLD man still living with his parents and blaming them for everything wrong in his life! A link to the video is below. At least that’s my interpretation of it. I started thinking about all of the issues in our society, the school shootings, the lack of respect for authority … NOT BEING ABLE TO TELL IF YOU ARE A MALE OR A FEMALE!!!! Or thinking that YOU have the ability to decide!

Now I will admit that my wife and I tended to be too far on the authoritative side and not enough on the grace. We didn’t love our children less, but expected more … sometimes too much … out of them. As a matter of fact, as I used to tell them when they were young, I love you too much to allow you to think you can get away with <insert behavior> with us or in the world as an adult.

I guess I have never understood not being able to tell your kids “NO”! I know this is nothing new. About 20 years ago I was a juvenile probation officer with a couple of young kids at home. I remember telling a friend at church what I did and part of that being that I established ruled for the parents of the kids on probation. My friend was incredulous to hear that a parent could not establish their own rules for their own house. So, when did parents start having such difficulty establishing boundaries?

Billy Graham said, “The basic reason for unhappiness in the home is that we have disregarded God and the principles He has given us. We have refused to acknowledge his plan for the family. The members of the home have refused to accept their particular responsibilities as given in the Bible. It is well known that obedience doesn’t come naturally. It must be taught and learned. Children must be taught obedience just as much as they need to be taught to read and write.”

“Train up a child in the way he should go; and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” (Prov 22:6) He says “Train” … an action word. Not leave them to their own decision making, not plopping them in front of the TV or computer as a babysitter. On the other hand we are instructed, “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, lest they be discouraged.” (Col 3:21). Then Matthew 5:37 says, “But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ For whatever is more than these is from the evil one.” Make a decision! Be the bad guy! You are not their friend (YET) … be the parent they NEED!!! In my counseling studies we read about an experiment where a group of elementary school children were sent to recess in a fenced playground. The children utilized all of the playground all the way to the fences for their activities. The next day they were sent to the same playground, but the fences had been removed. The children stayed very close to the center of the playground. Boundaries (rules, expectations, etc) are not limiting, they are actually freeing!

I apologize for the disconnectedness of this! I knew it was going to be that way, because that’s how it was rushing around in my head.

Father, I pray that we can be what you made us to be … free in You! That we would understand that you have set things in order for a purpose and that purpose is for Your glory and our good! Lord, we come seeking you, humbling ourselves before you and praying for our families, our communities and our nations. Heal us, Lord! Help us get our priorities right.

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