Family of cyclists

Delight…

Discipline / Family //

“Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?” – Romans 2:4

A couple of weeks ago I spoke to our congregation about parenting, about delighting in our children, and about God’s kindness. Before doing so I began to change my parenting – I began looking for more opportunities.

I have great kids. They know I think they are great. I tell them I think they are great.

But I began to wonder if I tell them enough.

When they would do something wrong, by accident or intention, my reaction – like most parents – would be somewhere between irritation and anger. And, wanting them to learn to do better next time I would correct them. Sometimes with needed discipline, but more often tones and words which were meant to apply just the right pressure in their lives to mold them into the young men that I knew they could become.

But Romans 2:4.

And the broken spoon. The spoon is a story for another time, but when my younger son broke a spoon and I heard his reaction, I knew that correction wasn’t needed. He needed grace. And when grace came, I think it was confusing which meant that they both needed more grace and more delight.

It’s not that I want them to think of themselves more highly than they should – but I do want them to think of themselves as children of the Most High. I want them to know beyond any doubt that I love them.

So I’ve taken more opportunities to delight in them.
I’ve adapted my discipline so that delight is more obvious.

And they’ve stepped up their game. With my wife on a missions trip for two weeks and, in the midst of those two weeks, the start of the Summer Camp that I oversee, the three of us could have been on course for the hardest two weeks in memory. But instead they have done chores without complaint. They’ve helped with dinner each night. They’ve been asking what else they can do to help. It’s summer, but they are waking up earlier to pack their lunches and be ready to go.

It’s amazing.
But it shouldn’t be.

God gave us His example. He showed how His delight in us lead to our change. He modeled parenthood for us.

Yet somehow we often miss it and when our children err, our tendency is to withdrawal delight.

This week why not look for new ways to delight in your children and see what changes come.

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About the Author

Jesse and his wife, Teri, will celebrate 20 years of marriage in May of 2012 and are raising two growing sons, Kevin and Alex. After moving from the DC metro area in 2008 they adopted a mastiff named Book and slobber became a way of life. In his spare time, you may find Jesse enjoying photography, biking, or simply watching a movie or reading. Jesse is a graduate of Cohort K from Bethel Seminary’s CFM program and serves as the Children and Family Pastor at the Evangelical Free Church of Wauconda.