Moses Supposes…

Moses Supposes His Children are Roses, Moses Supposes Erroneously

Do you walk up to water and just JUMP in, without checking the temperature first, so in case it’s too cold, you don’t have time to think abo……………

When we are preoccupied with outward form our focus tends to become shallow and behavior oriented. Subsequently, we rely heavily upon our authority in an attempt to bring our children under our total control. 

I was great with child, waddling through the grocery store.  I just wanted to be home …when all of a sudden, out of no where, appeared 2 children on BICYCLES riding through the dairy section, barely missing me. (Not that missing me would have been easy!)  No, wait, they were now in the meat dept….hold on, bread…. meat….dairy, back into meat….  They were riding up and down the main aisle.  They were riding bikes with the tags still on them. “How lovely.  New bikes for children whose parents can’t control them, lucky neighbors.”  Those were the thoughts running through my head.

When Scripture says, “He must be one who manages his own household well, keeping his children under control with all dignity.” – what does it mean if it doesn’t mean UNDER CONTROL?!!! 

Reb goes on to compare the training of roses with the training of children – reminding us that children are people and will ultimately choose how they will respond to parental influence.

“If we think we have total control over how our children respond to our training, we will relate to them not so much as people, but more as soulless animals.  If we fail to understand this, we will be tempted to intensely control our children up into their adult years. As parents we give ourselves way too much credit for the power we have in our children’s lives.  Such a perspective insures that we will develop a dominating style of parenting that will likely damage our relationship with our children and hinder our ability to truly influence their values.”

His next point heads him toward Proverbs 22:6.  I don’t want to take this on, until we have discussed the first portion, so I’ll stop here. 

Please – let’s hash this out – what do we do with I Tim 3:4 (that I quoted above) ? It would seem that it is a key issue here – for lacking in this area would appear to result in a man being disqualified to serve in God’s household.  How do we balance Reb’s comments concerning controlling our children with the Word of God?

By the way, yes, I do jump into the water without knowing the temperature first.  Often gets me into trouble, but it also helps me get things done, when I’m dragging my feet.

Edit: I take no responsibility for any songs that end up going through your head all day from reading this blog.  If you find that starting to happen, check back, you could always go for, “Good morning, good morning, we talked the whole night through…” or “Make em laugh, make ’em laugh…”  No problem, any time.  Glad to be of service. 🙂

6 Responses to “Moses Supposes…”
  1. javadawn says:

    I think that the roses analogy is interesting. Roses have an inherent structure that governs how they grow. They will branch wildly and not so beautifully if untended. They will blossom less and produce more brambly-type foilage (can you tell I don’t garden a lot) without guidance.
    When guiding a rose, one can’t really disregard the inherent structure. Roses don’t easily become shaped into elephant or tiger topiaries, for example. And they will grow thorns, regardless of what we do.
    But pruning a rose brings out the beauty. And in pruning, sometimes it seems as though a lot of beautiful things are being cut back. This cutting, however, allows the rose to reach its full potential.
    I can see how all of this applies to parenting (and I’m speaking more from the experience of being parented than parenting right now!) I think parents who allow a child to be a child and also guide growth in ways to enhance the child’s spiritual beauty and also figure out ways to encourage those things that will bring the most beautiful flowering of the spirit, while discouraging those things that detract, are doing a very good job of fulfilling the 1 Tim 3 requirements for leadership.
    The different translations of that 1 Tim scripture are interesting, also. There is a sense in some of those Greek words of being a caretaker, maintaining, serving, etc. (Do you ever use, by the way? Good site for this sort of thing).
    Anyway, I’ve monopolized this long enough! Thanks for the brain juice, though. I was sorely in need!
    Posted 8/15/2006 at 11:30 AM by aprilmcstew

  2. javadawn says:

    Hmmm…. I don’t see any conflict with what he said. I believe that it is because he does not say that we do not work to keep control over our wild and crazy kiddos. However, he does say that a problem can come in how parents RELATE to their children. Once a parent becomes so focused on training, they can lose focus on the personhood of their child. I think that the same thing happens sometimes between spouses too.
    Posted 8/15/2006 at 1:11 PM by theproletarian

  3. javadawn says:

    I agree. We can become consumed with forcing our children to behave a certain way. And it becomes all about our being in control over them. And we sort of forget about the Holy Spirit and that our children are individuals for whom Christ also died and with whom He desires to have a personal relationship (without we parents being the middlemen).

    I know my own heart and my own tendencies, and when I tend to be overly controlling, it is often rooted in my own pride. I must force my children to behave a certain way, look a certain way, speak a certain way because I want to look like a wonderful mother who has it all together and whose children are obedient and cheerful and . . . well, perfect. I’ve been very convicted about parenting out of pride, rather than out of a sincere concern for my children and desire for them to be grounded in God’s Word.

    But do I really want robots? Or do I want children with vibrant personalities and personal relationships to God and their own growth curves and the working of the Holy Spirit in their lives?

    Besides, kids are smart. If I parent them in a way that is all about me and how I appear, and if I am a control freak, they know that. And I can’t have any sort of genuine relationship with my children if those are my attitudes.
    Posted 8/15/2006 at 3:20 PM by jennhatcher

  4. javadawn says:

    well, jenn. i think we were separated at birth! i could have written exactly what you did. i’ve also changed my parenting from pride-based/performance-based to relationship-based. accepting the kids for being themselves. oh, yeah, here’s a confession–i remember very distinctly telling my kids (when they did something wrong) ” you did xyz, that does not make me happy”. awful, i know….but God forgives and recharges my heart. He moves me in the right direction–closer to his heart and the hearts of my children.
    Posted 8/16/2006 at 8:32 AM by sixkidlets

  5. javadawn says:

    Isn’t it amazing that the Lord would be so gracious as to pull us out of our own foolishness? I’m always amazed and grateful that He would do such a thing! (And in my life, it would seem that I excel in the area of foolish.)

    I am finding the older I get that the Lord is asking more and more and more of me that would focus on relationship – and that is hard. There are things and times that I just want ot focus on cleaning the house or doing school – but instead, my Lord calls me to relationship. What grace!!
    Posted 8/16/2006 at 9:01 AM by javadawn

  6. javadawn says:

    April, no, I haven’t used – but I’ll check them out. I’m still hauling around me ole Strongs and Vines, etc. : ) Also, I had no idea of the complexities of growing roses – WOW what a picture. Thanks!!

    Jenn, can I pick the days I want robots and the days I want real children??? ; ) Ok, maybe not. I DO enjoy my children so much more now that I have laid down ruling by control. Man, it’s so much more enjoyable. It has also allowed me the privilege of having them address MY sin too. When that happened the first time, I was torn between being offended and rejoicing. I went with the rejoicing. (By God’s grace, no doubt.)
    Posted 8/16/2006 at 10:10 AM by javadawn

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