Your precious child will stir anger up within you and you will use the mean parent voice. I really don’t know what else to call it because it sounds different in all of us, but the overarching fact is that it flat out sounds, well…mean. Some parents are screamers and yellers. Some are sarcastic or rude. Some parents belittle and accuse or are passively mean with their tone. Some parents have great self-control most of the time, but have random moments where like volcanoes they just erupt. It may not happen often, but when it does, everything in its path gets burned.
“I am NOT wearing jeans! I’m never wearing pants, EVER,” she screams as she collapses onto the floor in an absolute fit. <insert disciplinary action> Dresses only, thank you very much, for both of my girls right around the 3-4 year old mark. And while I don’t mind them wearing dresses a majority of the time, it’s not practical for the everyday…at least not our everyday. Pants and jeans were purchased for a reason and we are going to wear all of the clothes that we have with a grateful attitude, I explain for the 42nd time. She lets out a scream as I say this and collapses onto the floor again, mad as can be. <insert 2nd disciplinary action> After this scene is repeated another time (oh yes she did!), I got smarter. “Sweetheart, because you chose to continue throwing fits, being disrespectful and having an ungrateful attitude about your clothes, you have now lost your dresses, nightgowns and dress up clothes through Sunday.” <insert wailing and gnashing of teeth and a profuse amount of “I’ll never do that again.”> She, of course, did lose her “dress privileges,” but, an amazing thing happened…she stopped fighting me about the pants. It’s a small win, but I’ll take it!
I know some of you may read that title and think “I want to be both” and while that concept is good in theory, it’s often poorly executed and leads to kids with issues.
We are called to be Fathers and lead our children in a way that glorifies God, our Heavenly Father. To model that, takes far more discipline then most of us guys want to exert. We’d rather just leave it to our wives to be “the mean parent” and we’ll be the hero, the cool parent, the fun one.
When we aim for “being a friend”, we miss the target God set before us altogether. It’s through you that your kids will learn discipline, patience, anger management, integrity, character, etc. (Moms don’t get upset, they learn this stuff from you too, but Dads/Husbands are called to lead their homes) Continue reading
Patience…just writing that word makes me feel guilty. I am the consummate “do as I say, not as I do” person, when it comes to patience. I can’t think of a time in my life, where patience wasn’t a battle for me.
This struggle wasn’t birthed out of being a spoiled brat, who got everything he wanted growing up. It isn’t spurred on by other people at all. Impatience simply seems to be part of my DNA. That’s not a copout. I’m not off the hook. I just realize that I have an addiction for getting things done and want everyone around me to be the same way.
There are pros and cons to this dilemma…
Submission is a word that when most people hear it, they define it as “walked on, degraded, defeated, etc” Often the mental picture of a caveman pulling his wife along by her hair comes to mind. To “spiritually” elaborate within that metaphor, God would be the caveman and we would be the woman. As if there is no choice on our part whether to serve and obey Him. Basically a “forced” slave told to do everything and punished if we don’t. This is NOT a picture of submission. I can’t imagine any of us wanting to be Christians if that were the case.
The truth is: submission to God actually results in “rising up, being valued, and living victoriously”. He cares for us so much that instead of beating us into submission, He gives us a choice. Think about that…the King of Kings, Creator of the Universe, Alpha and Omega cares enough about you that He lets you decide how to live your life. That in and of itself should make us want to worship Him. Sadly our ego and pride distract many of us and before we know it WE look more like the caveman dragging along everyone else behind us. Continue reading