Parenting

The Power of "No!"

A large part of my recovery process involves using the word "no." Indeed, saying "yes" gotten me into more trouble and disease than standing in my own okay-ness with stating it simply, but firmly.

My eating disorder experiences were driven by an insatiable need for perfection, approval and to be pleasing at all cost. So, "no" became a dirty little word. After all, a girl, filled with sugar and spice, should be completely fulfilled with making other people happy.

Right?

Wrong.

Finding It Hard to Forgive?

And forgive us our debts,
As we forgive our debtors.
Matthew 6:12

How many times do we pray this portion of what is commonly called "The Lord's Prayer" and yet fail to consider what we're asking? It is a petition, a request of God to forgive us - in the same manner and proportion in which we forgive others. Are you okay with that? Are you comfortable with receiving God's forgiveness to the same extent that you give it to others?

When I am Ignored

It is so hard to share with someone seemingly endlessly with no fruit seeming to bear. I have been through this with various people -- some regarding faith and others regarding recovery. They do not want to hear about God, the Bible or church. Or they are not interested in getting sober, getting out of that codependent/abusive relationship ior changing their life in any way. I believe it is a problem with their eyes not seeing and their ears not hearing.

It is not a matter of my not saying the right thing. The issue may be that it is not the right time.

I am sowing seeds on dry hard ground. (see: Mark 4:3-9 and Mark 4:10-20)

Internalizing the Wrong Messages?

I'm a huge fan of classic cartoons. The Roadrunner, in particular, always makes me smile.

Recently, I stumbled across an image, featuring Wile. E. Coyote's "calling card," which read "Genius." And it immediately reminded me of a famous Albert Einstein quote:

Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.

Affirmation via Tattoos and Piercings

"He wandereth abroad for bread, saying, 'Where is it?'..." Job 15:23

Within recovery, there is often the need to commemorate the struggle, the courage and the life-affirming process, via tattoos and piercings.

Indeed, I've encountered many young people who have significant dates and meaningful logos marked on their skin. Likewise, eyebrows, nostrils and lips are also pierced, in the declaration of some kind of personal freedom from pain.

Talking about Healing: Why Am I Afraid to Tell You Who I Am?

Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.Ephesians 4:29


"Why Am I Afraid to Tell You Who I Am?" by John Powell (Niles, IL: Argus Communications, 1969) is one of my favorite books.

Powell suggests that people are afraid to tell you who they REALLY are because you may not like them, thus, we reveal ourselves in "levels" or stages: According to him.

The lowest level is cliché.

"Hi, how are you?" "Whazzup?" When you met that special someone, did you really care who he or she was or was it because you had a hidden agenda and maybe did not even know it? Did that first conversation sound something like this? Do you come here often? So you're a whiskey sour lady, let me buy you a drink. 'I thought you was somebody else'.

This level is safe. There is no sharing of the human experience. You do not know anything about me and I don't know anything about you. What you don't know is she might be going through a heated divorce. He could have just got out of prison for armed robbery.

The second level is

Raising a Responsible Child

by Carol DeMar

"Conscientious," "principled," "accountable," "honorable," and "trustworthy" are among the adjectives that describe the word responsible. In our roles as parent and teacher, raising responsible children is of utmost importance. The endless stream of people in responsible positions getting caught in illegal or inappropriate behavior gives testimony to the sad state of affairs: reporters falsifying facts in newspaper and magazine articles; a former government official stealing documents; politicians taking bribes; the list goes on. Sadly, holding a responsible position does not make the one who holds that position responsible.

Begin in God's Word

Reasons given for the usefulness of Proverbs are listed at the beginning of chapter 1: To receive instruction in wise behavior; To give prudence to the naïve.... To the youth knowledge and discretion; A wise man will hear and increase in understanding.... The words of verse 7 always met students as they came into my classroom. The verse was printed in large black letters and attached to the wall where it could be easily seen: The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; Fools despise wisdom and instruction. Those words profoundly state what teachers and parents are to be teaching children. Training young children to fear the Lord is the first step in gaining true knowledge. Parents must begin at the beginning. Instituting a schedule upon bring your newborn home from the hospital is the start of teaching and establishing order. Man left to his own desires injects chaos into the world and then wonders why there is no peace!

Who's In Charge?

First-time parents must decide at the outset that they, not the children, will lead. Many parents have not observed good parenting skills in their own parents, and they are now modeling poor parenting to their

What is the Goal of Parenting?

Proverbs 19:18 NRSV
Discipline your children while there is hope;
do not set your heart on their destruction.


Years ago—many years ago—the majority of parents in America knew how to raise their children. How do we know this? Because we were a nation of moral adults, adults who knew how to discern right from wrong and knew that they shouldn't choose wrong. Yes, there were some indiscriminate sins, but on the whole, America wanted to be a moral nation.

No longer. Now we raise children who are self-indulgent, who want to remain children, who only want to play and have fun.

We have failed in our task as parents.

The Hebrew word translated here as "discipline" means "bind, chasten, chastise, correct, instruct, punish, reform, reprove, sore, teach" (Strongs H3256). And the word is used in the imperative form. There is an insistence; this is a command.

Moreover, the command is coached in a warning: "Discipline your children while there is hope." In other words, there will be a time in your child's life when there is no hope. Why? Because there was a lack of discipline.

Most Christian parents don't realize that their parenting is strongly influenced by the evolutionary mind of American society. When we give our children choices without strategically determining how that's done and why we are doing it, we are reinforcing that our children are individuals with their own right to determine morality. Now, for most Christians, that's a novel thought. We parent by copying what we see around us or what we read and we don't stop to analyze why we parent the way we do. The fact is, we may be parenting our children to destruction without even realizing it.

Dr. John Ankerberg (with Dr. John Weldon) wrote an article about relative morality. In summary, he said this:

How Can You Help Someone Who Needs You?

How can you help someone who needs you?

A while back I was asked to do a workshop for folks who are working in difficult areas of ministries. Since I’m a wheelchair user, I was supposed to offer a seated perspective of things people have done that have been helpful and some that haven’t.

At the start of a new year I thought the list might be useful. These are some ideas. Hopefully you’ll help me with something I’ve missed.

Show up. I seem to always need help at inconvenient times, and I’m grateful for friends who show up even when they’d rather be somewhere else. There’s a difference between Signing Up And Showing Up.

It’s easy to say, “Call me if there’s anything I can do.” It’s hard to ask for help. The real heroes are the folks who show up.

The Parent-Child Relationship

Ultimately we are left with family. In fact, that may be why so many people get divorced or break up relationships. They are looking for the kind of stability that one should find within a family. Perhaps the idea of a soul mate even comes from this longing, the longing to have a place called "home" within which there is love and safety and comfort.

A stupid child is ruin to a father,
and a wife's quarreling is a continual dripping of rain.
Proverbs 19:13

This proverb isn't about children who lack intelligence, but rather about children who are foolish and silly. Matthew Henry writes:

"A son that will apply himself to no study or business, that will take no advice, that lives a lewd, loose, rakish life, and spends what he has extravagantly, games it away and wastes it in the excess of riot, or that is proud, foppish, and conceited, such a one is the grief of his father, because he is the disgrace, and is likely to be the ruin, of his family."

Proverbs 23:24-25 states that

The father of the righteous will greatly rejoice; he who begets a wise son will be glad in him. Let your father and mother be glad; let her who bore you rejoice.

There is a reciprocity within the parent-child relationship. Parents are to raise their children to be righteous; children are to choose the path of righteousness. When these children turn their backs on the Lord, it is a great sorrow to the parents. Wise children follow the Lord and His will. Foolish children stand up in arrogance and turn their backs on everything their parents believe and taught.

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