Have you ever ridden a merry go round at a park? Seems fun at first, right? The spinning? Not being able to focus on anything? And your lunch seems to be fighting it’s way out. At some point you realized that the ride wasn’t fun and you wanted to get off. Immediately.
Moments like these can take place in everyday life with our families, spinning out of control. We call it the Family Crazy Cycle, which we address in the blog “How to Slow Down the Family Crazy Cycle!”
But the good news is God gave us a positive plan to help us maneuver these crazy moments and we call this the Family Energizing Cycle!
We Will Have Trouble
I love that God told us “in this world we will have trouble.” We were forewarned that this life brings trouble with it. Still we are surprised when trouble shows up – when things get crazy.
But God has not left us in the dark in the troubling times. Psalm 119:11 says, “His word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” That’s truly a guide.
God reveals light to parents that directs their parenting steps to energize and motivate their children.
When we stick with a simple plan that God has set forth, not expecting perfection but with the assurance we are doing it His way, we can have peace in the process.
What if I could share with you six principles that would guide you in your parenting?
After looking at the Scriptures, Emerson came up with a simple acronym that just happens to include SIX principles. GUIDES can help us get off the parenting Crazy Cycle and on to:
The Energizing Cycle
A parent’s love motivates a child’s respect.
A child’s respect motivates a parent’s love.
It is no accident that one of the Ten Commandments instructs children to honor their father and mother. “Honor” is a synonym for “respect.” When a child is respectful, the parent will be motivated to love. And naturally enough, God has put it in the hearts of children to respond to the positive love of their parents.
Responsibility to Influence and Energize
As we get the Energizing Cycle spinning and try to keep it going, most of the responsibility falls on the parent to influence and energize the parent-child relationship. We are the mature ones, at least we are supposed to be.
But if you’re like me, you wish the load weren’t so heavy. I have found these six principles help me lighten the parenting load, so let’s dive into the acronym G-U-I-D-E-S and see how to parent God’s way.
Give, so that a child’s basic needs can be met.
Understand, so that a child is not provoked or exasperated.
Instruct, so that your child can know and apply God’s wisdom.
Discipline, so that your child can correct poor choices.
Encourage, so that your child can develop God-given gifts.
Supplicate in prayer, so that your child can experience God’s touch and truth.
Whether you are a single parent or married, this is God’s plan for you as you parent. Even though you get discouraged from time to time, these principles don’t change because God’s word never changes.
But how do we do this in the midst of the battle? Use the acronym G.U.I.D.E.S. as a parenting checklist. This week ask yourself these questions when you need to move from the Crazy Cycle to the Energizing Cycle.
- Am I Giving too much or too little?
- Am I Understanding my child and can I put myself in their shoes?
- Am I Instructing too much or not enough?
- Am I Disciplining in love or anger?
- Am I Encouraging my child in such a way that they don’t lose heart?
- Am I Supplicating (praying) for this child, remembering that is my greatest privilege and if I don’t, who will?
As we review these questions “in the moment” or later, our energy will be renewed as we discover not only where we need to improve, but also what we are doing right! Too, as we parent God’s way – applying G.U.I.D.E.S. – we create the most loving environment that best motivates our kids to respond respectfully.
Will our love motivate our children to respond perfectly? Of course not but our love will influence them to respond less imperfectly! The most important thing to remember is this: Am I loving my child as God reveals for me to love as a parent, even if my child is not responding as respectfully as I need?
So, what if you follow this acronym of GUIDES and your children do not respond as positively as you expect? The answer is found in the Rewarded Cycle. More on that next time!
From my heart,