Sunday, April 11, 2010

Parenting Philosophies

As I begin writing this post, my mind is a disorganized jumble of thoughts, conviction, verses, and a desire to make it all clear and computable to my mind. Maybe it is the little baby growing in my tummy that somehow has my brain in a fog, or maybe it is simply the enormity of the subject of parenting and the philosophies that govern our parenting. Hopefully by the time I sign "Love, Kayte" we are not all confused and reaching for the "off" button on our computers! ;)

My pastor preached a lesson tonight from the text Titus 2:1-5. It was part two of a two week lesson on the subject of teaching, specifically in the area of parenting. I was serving in the nursery last week so I did not catch for the first half of the lesson but the second half was a huge help and blessing to me. I have had several conversations with my father in law (and pastor) about parenting. I have actually cried (and wished that I hadn't; don't you ever wish you could turn off the "woman" part of your brain that makes you cry when you don't really want to!☺) as we talked about how my generation, including myself, are lacking in some of the basic fundamentals of parenting. The world has infiltrated our philosophies to such an extend that we are void in even just common sense in some fields. Christians mimic worldly methods at every turn, and yet hope for a better result. I have felt discouraged as I have looked inside myself and saw that I had an empty tool box while trying to build godly, wise, prudent children that can lead useful happy lives for the Lord. Tonight, however, I was given some practical help and spiritual encouragement. I suppose to some, a preacher "meddling" with the private affairs of parenting and family life would be bothersome, but I am so hungry for it. I know I need it and I drink it up.

I scribbled down a few notes as pastor spoke tonight, and I think it might be an encouragement to others who are also in the "parenting trenches" and may be needing a boost. Of course, please understand that I took notes as closely as I could, but these are not direct quotes. My father in law can not be held responsible for any incoherent babbling that may follow. ;)

• The most important things I learned in life, I did not learn in school. I learned it home, particularly from my Dad. There is no substitute for a Mom and a Dad as they interact while raising a family.

• II Cor. 12:15 "I will gladly spend and be spent for you..." Parents, you have to literally pour your life into your kids. Spouse, you have pour your life into your spouse.

• All the worldly philosophies that have corrupted our thinking and the way we approach parenting are rooted in selfishness. The second root in laziness.

• I despise terms like "bonding" and "quality time". It's the world's way of making themselves feel better about their neglect. We need quality parents who spend time... lots and lots of time with their children.

• Love is an action. Loving our children is serving them, instructing them, teaching them, helping them. TIME.

• My Dad was always teaching me. This is the way we sweep, this is how to hammer a nail, this is how to fix a toilet, this is what you do with machinery. We never do this, we always do this. How to act, how to walk, what to do. Always teaching me.

Do you know the literal meaning the word "selfish"? The root words translate to mean "self imposed hell". And isn't that so true? Selfish living results in such misery for others, and even more so for ourselves. I am adopting II Cor. 12:15 as my parenting verse. Sometime soon, I am going to create some decorative wall hanging and paint the verse on it to remind me. Until I do that, I am just going to hand write it and post it somewhere I look at often.

Just yesterday, I put the girls to bed quite early at 7:30. I was just too tired to answer any more questions. Get any more sippy cups full. Read any more books. Have any more tea parties. Assist in the potty or change any more diapers. When Seth came home, I told him that I just couldn't take it any more so I put them to bed. We all have bad days, to be sure. But I certainly don't want the "I can't take it any more" attitude to be any more than a rare occurrence. I'm praying for the Lord to change me. Moms are generally not thought of as selfish people. We certainly like to think of ourselves as "givers" and "sacrificers". But truth be told, our sin nature and our personal tendencies do not vanish the moment we give birth. At times, these little people who call us Mom seem to actually accentuate our short comings. At the same time, what greater opportunity does a person have to truly die to self than with the privilege and responsibility of parenting. My pastor, a few years ago, said that he discourages any couple to plan against having any children. He said there is a maturity that comes only with parenthood and though some may never have children for reasons beyond their control, he advises not to plan on being childless in a desire for a career or other pursuit.

Parenting isn't for wimps, they say! I need to pump some figurative iron. Praise the Lord that He doesn't ask us to do this alone!

If any of us lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally and unbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

James 1:5



raising3princesses said...

Kayte, this was a very timely and much needed post! Thank you so much for sharing it! I wish I could've heard the sermon.

I have never thought about the terms "bonding" and "quality time" before. but you are so right! That should be something we are always doing not something we plan to do once a week! I LOVED learning that point! Thank you so much.

Life with my little girls is never slow or easy and I really struggle about wanting them and our life to be more organized. The Lord has been working on my heart lately to slow down and teach them, to not rush rush rush all the time.

There was a post on a blog I follow a few days ago and it really was a blessing to me.
Sorry I was so wordy. Love, Maria

Mrs. Julie Fink said...

What wonderful lessons! You are so blessed to have married into such a wonderful family ♥.

Kayte said...

Thanks for sharing that link, Maria... I'm going to check it out later when I have more time. Never apologize for being too wordy here! I'm always guilty of leaving very long comments! Some of us just got lots to say!;)

Mrs. Fink, I am so blessed. I've learned a lot from my in laws.

Michelle said...

WONDERFUL poat!! Thanks for sharing.

Amber said...

Timely words for me! I find that on the days that I act selfishly both the kid and I are CRANKY. But on days I focus on his needs and the needs of my household we have fabulous days!

Of course, there are days that I think bedtime is never going to come but then I get a spontaneous hug or smile and it is ALL worth it :)

Joyful Blessings said...

I can agree so much with you Kayte, where would I have been all those years without Pastor and Mrs. Sandberg to help and encourage me with Holly and Brent. How I did go to him and ask him for his advice so many times, and he was always there to give of his time with them as well.
Time is something we can never give again, once it is spent it is gone, so it is the most valuable thing we own. Rather that God gives us each day.
I have never wished for all the money I have spent back but I sure have thought about the time that I got to raise my kids and how awesome it would be to get that back again...but it is spent now. Only one life to live when it is over only what we did for Christ will last.