In Part 1 of this series, we realized there are holy and unholy means to correcting a child’s behavior.
As parents we must do what God called parents to do. For this, I use the acronym “G.U.I.D.E.S.” Let me explain.
Work The Game Plan
In football, the coaches develop a game plan.
Even if they get behind by 21 points in the first quarter, quality teams stick to the game plan. There are three quarters left, and time and again we see football teams come from behind to win the game.
The coaches plan the work and work the plan, regardless of the negative outcomes in the first quarter. They don’t lose their composure. They don’t start fouling just because the opponent is not playing by the rules.
In parenting, God calls you to love your child using the biblical revelation to parents as represented by G.U.I.D.E.S.
As you focus on your actions and reactions in the face of your child’s misbehavior, you will best help your child change that misbehavior.
If you start committing fouls against your children because they are fouling against you, you won’t win long-term. You are as guilty as they are, and you lose your moral authority.
Parenting Process vs. Outcomes
Centering on the process of parenting, rather than merely on the outcomes in children, prevents you from
– getting overly discouraged,
– exploding in anger,
– being inconsistent,
– resenting your children,
– taking their eyes off God, and
– developing bad habits.
Prodigal Son’s Father
In reading the Scriptures, I observed the father of the prodigal remained consistent as a compassionate father. For example:
– He did not move into defeat even though both his sons failed to do what he expected.
– He did not become a sinful father because his second son indulged in carnality.
– His first son displayed an angry, self-righteous and judgmental heart.
We know how the story how the prodigal returned.
We read in Luke 15:20, “his father saw him, and felt compassion for him, and ran and embraced him, and kissed him.”
This dad never stopped loving.
This father pleased God the Father, even though his son was rebelling.
The good news is that the son came around, and the father had no regrets about how he lived before his son.
He kept both sides of the coin in mind, so to speak.
As a parent, do you have regrets in how you lived before your children?
Do you need wisdom in how to act and react in front of your child?
It is not always what it seems. Two Sides of the Parenting Coin, Part 3 discusses God’s game plan.