16 April 2012

Spirit-Led Parenting

Dear Lissy,

Once again a book is making the rounds of the internet that claims to be God's way to parent your baby.  Young, bleary-eyed mommas are so vulnerable to these ideas that it breaks my heart.

God never intended a book or your peers to provide wisdom for navigating the trails of parenting.  

Call me, or your aunt Debi, or find a godly older woman in your local church who has already finished raising her family to help you.  They may recommend a book as a tool once they know you and your situation, but the Holy Spirit has already revealed how He intends for you to learn to parent in Titus 2:3-5

"The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things;
That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,
To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed."

I sent you an annotated bibliography about a year ago that contained some books that we've consulted during our parenting years.  All of these were written by couples or individuals that had finished raising their families and had adult children who loved the Lord.  These resources were always second to the Word of God and godly older couples in our own church.

This is such a serious letter I'll end with a funny story from your baby years.
You were a fairly happy baby, but I felt like I was constantly short-changing your brothers because I could no longer play with them like I once did.  As I sadly related this to an elderly woman in my church, she laughed and looked at me like I had three eyes.
"Honey", she said, "in my day we had so much work to do and so many kids we gave them a sheet and an ironing board and told them we didn't want to see them again until lunch.  Family time was always after dinner was cleaned up at night.  Your boys just need some time to play and explore on their own."
That was some of the best advice I've ever received.  She was able to share that advice because she knew me and knew my children.   She had spent time in our home and knew their play areas were secure.  That same advice could have been disastrous for another mom with kids exactly the same ages.
My friends were advising me to "let the house go" and just enjoy my kids.  The parenting magazines (our equivalent of blog posts) were filled with crafts, games, units, and encouragement to take an active role in every moment of my pre-schoolers lives.  Only the "aged woman" that God had placed in my church family gave me the perspective and advice I needed.

Spirit-led parenting?  It's claiming the grace to obey God's plan as revealed in His Word by faith.  


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