Friday, February 01, 2013

6 Ways Parents Destroy Their Children Without Trying


When my son Jacob was born one of the very first books I read about being a dad was a book called To Train Up a Child.  The book is written by Michael and Debbie Pearl.  Some of the methods outlined in the book have been called controversial.  My experience with the book is that while I didn't do everything it outlined, many of the things I put into practice were very positive.  I was unable to raise my other two children with as much diligence and intentionality as Jacob in this regard, and I believe the results have shown that to be a mistake.

However, thanks be to God that he's never done with us.  I still have such a need to grow!  Therefore, and likewise, we earthly parents are never done with our kids.  There is always room for grace, love, mercy, discipline, and growth.

My wife recently sent me an article from Michael Pearl's website.  The article lists 6 ways parents destroy their children without trying.  I've listed them below.  It is an insightful article that hit me right between the eyes on numerous points.  
1. Get so busy providing for them that you don’t have time for them.
2. Set a bad example.
3. Expressing displeasure regularly.
4. Not enforcing boundaries.
5. Leaving them to choose their friends.
6. Finally, you can destroy your children by not giving them any responsibility or holding them accountable.
Agree with the Pearls parenting methods or not, many of the things this article discusses are important for parents to think about.  Michael Pearl raises a very high bar for parents and putting his ideas into practices involves much intentionality and sacrifice.  See the explanation for point #5.

However, if we believe that children are a gift from God and that we as their parents will give account for how we raised them, then we must spend time counting the cost of our current parenting strategies, or lack thereof.  We must become more intentional about the outcomes we hope to achieve through our parenting methods, and we must move into the future fueled by prayer and the knowledge that the Holy Spirit is with us helping us along.

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