Friday, December 14, 2012

Parenting: You Get What You Expect

Yesterday I mentioned children tend to rise to expectations. However true this may be, there are qualifications to be made if we hope to produce a good and beautiful result. When I say "good and beautiful," I mean as in the goodness and beauty of Christ, His graces displayed in human flesh.

Jesus IS beauty and goodness defined.

Parents can expect with widely varying motives. If our motive is wrong, we have no right to presume we will get a good and beautiful result.

I could set high goals for my children because I want to look good. I could desire that they make me look smart, talented, or whatever suits my fancy. I could have a personal favorite subject, sport, or musical instrument I want them to pursue just because I prefer it. I could challenge them to be one of the "big three"--in my CHM background, that is singer, preacher, or missionary. I could push them a particular direction with a motive of wanting my fellow Christians to think I'm really spiritual because of what I've produced.

Any of these motives are bound to eventually lead to disaster.

My motive must first be a whole-hearted personal commitment to the will of God for my own life. When I'm where I should be before Him, I don't need my children's accomplishments to provide me a sense of worth. I don't want to control their lives for my benefit.

To the contrary, as a Christian I recognize my utter inability to know what is wise and best, what is good and beautiful, and so I am ever in a seeking mode to gather more wisdom from Christ. I bring my children to His feet to learn of Him. What I understand of Him, I disciple them in until they are old enough to grab onto Him and continue the same for themselves.

Do I get a sense of joy when they do well? When they demonstrate His graces in their life? You better believe it! But, I'm fully aware that He is the source of the good and the beautiful, and He alone can help me have right motives for what I expect from my children.