10/11/2007
Soundtrack: Starship "Sara"/Journey "Any Way You Want It"

Ask any three parents about discipline and you get six opinions. And certainly there's diversity in our nascent community on all the facets of the discipline deal. And that's good, because my sense is most of us are detoxing from prescriptive church.

In company with some fellow parents in my congregation, I've been living with Hebrews 12 a lot lately, and a harmonic in it got through the noise in my neurons. This should happen to me more often.

Here's the resonance: hardship = discipline = God making me like Jesus.

So, two questions: what are the connections between how you discipline your children and what you're doing to disciple them ?

Parenting is the hardest thing I've ever set my hand to: How is God using your engagement with the sheer difficulty of shaping immature humans into whole adults to shape you in the image of Christ?

Peace,
Michael

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posted by Michael Howes at 11:02:00 PM |


5 Comments:


At October 11, 2007 at 11:49 PM, Blogger Mike Clawson

Hey Michael, just a question: what's with the "Soundtrack" thing? I'm a little confused. Is that related to your post in some way? I'm not catching the connection. Please enlighten me.

 

At October 13, 2007 at 10:21 AM, Blogger brett

I think it is just what he is/has been listening to while writing/ruminating?

 

At October 14, 2007 at 7:44 PM, Blogger Michael Howes

Yeah, it's what I was listening to as I was writing - no explicit connect to the post. I had a choir teacher in high school who would write me letters - actual paper letters - and at the top with the date he'd put what he was listening to as he wrote. And when I read the letter I'd listen to what he was listening to. And when I'd reply I'd do the same. I didn't have Rachmaninoff and he didn't have U2, but it added to the communication. Always trying to tap the sensory beyond the visual and auditory. FWIW, he'd also put the weather outside at the time he was writing.

 

At October 14, 2007 at 10:06 PM, Blogger jeff greer

I am amazed how much i learn about myself and about God as I am dealing with and relating to my 3 year old daughter. I am constantly reminded of my own disobedience, when I am trying to teach my daughter obedience. I am reminded of God's amazing grace when I get frustrated at my daughter for ignoring me and when I ask her to do something. I am also reminded of my own struggles in life when I realize that at times I have to cause my daughter to experience something she doesn't like to help her to learn more, like a time-out, or taking something away from her, or any other discipline. Being a parent is one of the greatest ways God teaches me about many things. It is very eye-opening for me for sure!

 

At October 15, 2007 at 8:21 AM, Blogger Janice

I think the connection, in my house, between discipline and how I disciple or the discipling relationship is that they actually are one in the same. What I mean is that I don't view them as two separate things and my way of dealing with behavior isn't about punishment. Its about learning and growth.

As far as how it all relates to my own growth...oh my, how much time do you have? For me as I relate to my kids and share with them what I believe about God I engage the principles myself in a new way. Sometimes that means I find a different nuance or application in my life and sometimes I see where my thinking may be flawed.

The other big thing that I find happens is that as I reflect on my conversations with my children or as I chew over them with God at a later time, I find that I am often convicted of who I 'should' be in terms of representing Jesus to my children. A better way of saying it might be by giving an example - for instance, as I was driving and talking to God about some things, I was asking God to really make himself known to my daughter in a certain area and I had one of those striking light bulb moments - this one saying 'thats what you are there for! I'm making myself known through you!' - a reminder that we ARE (should be in some way) representations of Christ. Its an 'aha moment' ya know? I think most people 'know' that, but in terms of real life, how often do people ask God to step in or show someone something....

In my life, I have these little aha moments most often through parenting. I believe its a connection, for me, of the whole imagery of God as 'parent' (father).

Anyway, for me, acknowledging these aha moments results in some transformation in me, no matter how small.