Saturday, July 28, 2012

Parenting with God in Heart.

I heard some advice on family and parenting within a Christian community that let me a bit concerned.  Parenting is such a delicate topic I think because often each couple or even each individual in the couple have such different perspectives on what to say or do in some circumstances with their kids. It also applies for single mums or dads. People have their own views and particularly in this one, I often don't want too many comments about what I do with my son or how I do it. In light of this, I have to admit that the advice was quite disturbing to my heart and I found most of it being a personal perspective, not a Christian founded argument. I did agree with a lot of other things, but there were a couple that got my attention so much that I find myself writing about them today. I apologize in advance if I get a bit too passionate about the topic. The particular points where:

1. As cute as your new born looks to you, he's a bundle of sin.

2. Teach your kids the word "No" before they develop their long term memory (around the age of 4). 

I found a couple of inconsistencies when later on was also said: 
"Teach your kids obedience, not compliance."
God has plans for your kids, don't get in the way!

3. "Make sure you know where your kids are, who they are with and what they're doing."

Along the lines of this was also said "don't let your kids use technology alone in their rooms (i.e dirty conversations with fiends on mobile phones)

4. "You're not your kids' mate, you're your kids' parents!!"

Maybe I missed it due to language barriers or sound or something but, except probably for the common interpretation of Genesis in sentence number 1, I didn't hear a biblical reason why these particular recommendations where made and, when there is no biblical reason, what is said has to resonate with my heart, not with my mind. It didn't. So I'm going to address this writing from the perspective of my own relationship with God as a Father and how I strive to use God's skills as The Father with my own son and kids around us. Today I analyse aspect number 1.

1. As cute as your new born looks to you, he's a bundle of sin.

This is a tough one and one that is very subject to personal interpretations of a tough book like Genesis. I'm obviously sharing my own view. God said to Adan "But of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die" Genesis 2; 17. Because of the disobedience of Adan and Eve, we are all vulnerable to sin (but remember that because of Jesus, we are all capable of living without it!). What is the sin?? The knowledge of good and evil!! It is our  gift of freedom to label, decide and chose what is right and wrong, what is good and bad that's our biggest sin. The knowledge of good and evil takes us away from the action of pure love which is where one lives in perfect union with God. Jesus sets us free by taking away this burden of having to decide what is good and bad. He was a man that no matter who was talking to him, He was always open and centered in love to talk to anybody from thieves to prostitutes. He knew that Peter was going to deny Him, that Judas was going to set him up and yet, he was not divided between the "good and evil" reasoning but centered in love and kept him as his disciples. He chose Paul, a vicious Jew campaigner against him, to replace Judas and become one of his followers too. Funnily enough, Paul wrote, in my view, the greatest of the books of the Bible. Can you imagine a better freedom than the capacity to love everything, every moment and everybody no matter what the circumstances?? That is the freedom that God gives.

As parents, we are very good at teaching right and wrong and of course, he/she has the built-in capacity for this, that is the role of the tree of knowledge. The tree of knowledge is not sin per se, eating from it is the problem. A baby, who has access to the tree of sin, but has not eaten yet from it, cannot be a bundle of sin. That is why Jesus precious babies and little ones and that is why the kingdom of heaven belongs to them already(!!). They are free without knowing it. It is when they eat from the tree that they lose the kingdom and certainly die!! I guess, in a way, we kill them as parents. It is of course, a spiritual death. One only has to look around to see the madness of the war between good and evil that permeates every single aspect of society. And the saddest thing is that it is us parents and adult society, whether Christians or not, who kindly pass on the apple to our own kids. So subtle is the serpent of Genesis, that we have lived with it for so long we don't even notice anymore it is there, or I should say here within us, so subtle that we drag our kids to sin with us. The tree of knowledge of good and bad, as I understand it, is therefore not a tree that lived 4000 or so years ago. Each single person is born with it. The Genesis is the story of the beginning of your spiritual journey.

The disciples asked Jesus who is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven. To me that question means "who is good, what are the qualities of the righteous and good ones so that we can mimic them and be with them??" And what was Jesus' answer??

"Verily I say unto you, except ye be converted, and become as little children ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in hte kingdom of heaven" (Matthew 18; 3 - 4)
Kids are free, they talk to everybody and when they don't, it is often not related to the characteristics of the person they are talking to. We are focused on teaching our kids, but I think we should let kids teach us about the freedom that God gives.

What do you think??

Next:  Teach your kids the word "No" before they develop their long term memory (around the age of 4). 
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