Tuesday, May 24, 2005


“We are not responsible for our children’s behavior. They are. One of our jobs is to provide them with opportunities to learn that there are consequences for their actions.”
(Process Therapy Institute http://www.processes.org/processholdings.php)

A friend shared that thought with me a few years ago in the midst of extreme frustrations of parenting two pre-schoolers. It was the most freeing insight I have ever received as a parent.

God, as our Father, offers the perfect example of that parenting concept. He created us to have a choice on how we live our lives. All choices have consequences. Some choices have large impacts on our lives. Others are so minimal we may not see or acknowledge the consequence.

We are created in the image of God. God is love. Our children are created with a certain DNA which affects who they are primarily physically but also in personality preferences.

God does not force us to be Christ-like. Neither does he nag us or guilt trip us into acting like Christ. Did you notice the difference there? There is a difference in being Christ-like and acting like Christ.

As birth children of particular parents, we are naturally similar to them in our physical, emotional, and intellectual make up. So often, as parents, we attempt to train our children to act like us (or as we want them to act).

Proverbs 22:6 (NLT) says “Teach your children to choose the right path, and when they are older, they will remain upon it.” That is easier for some parents for two reasons. One, the parent has discovered who they are according to God’s unique design for them. The other reason is that the child may be so like that parent, it is natural to encourage them in the right path. If a relationship of respect has been developed from early childhood, there are fewer bumps in the road.

However, very few children are nearly a clone of one and certainly not both parents. When we consider the number of blended families – either by marriage or adoption – trying to help our children figure out who they are becomes even more difficult. Our media adds to the complexity by bombarding us from a very early age as to the “image” we should strive to be.

The consequences we set for our children should help them discover who they are naturally in the image of God. Then, they may not act like us but their behavior will be motivated by their natural likeness to Christ rather than a reaction to our desires.

Do you see the consequences in your adult life as guidance from your Heavenly Father to be who you were intended to be?

Be encouraged: Read Hebrews 12

© 2005 Lisa Biggs Crum

This blog was inspired by the “Writing Perc for Sunday, May 22, 2005”
Visit the Writing Perc at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/WritingPerc/

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the mission:
PROCLAIM the good news; HEAL the sick and oppressed; BRING JUSTICE
~ Luke 4:16-20

Anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing (John 14:12)
~ Jesus 

Copyright 2005-2010 Lisa Biggs Crum
Email LisaCrum@Grow2Sow.org for reprint permission