Story Saturday AND Savior Sunday.

So I blew it--I completely forgot to post yesterday for Story Saturday. I even had time to post in the evening. So, I've stumbled upon a bible verse that will both serve for Savior Sunday and relate to a book recommendation.

"He did evil in the eyes of the Lord, but not as his father and mother had done." 2 Kings 2:7

I know that this verse is taken out of context and is talking about Joram the king of Israel. But I think even without context, it is a verse that speaks to me. As parents, I feel that most of us try to not do as our father and mother have done...we try to analyze how our parents screwed up with us, what they just didn't know, or the things we think we can do even better with our kids.

I absolutely do this, even though my mom and dad are wonderful and loving. Even though I have excellent role models for how to be a parent, I still analyze how I was raised and how my brother was raised, and I devour parenting books and online information like a ravenous beast. I am looking for ideas on how raise kids better than my parents did, and confirmation that I'm raising my two boys right.

But just today, one of those parenting books hit me, right between the eyes, with the reality that I'm NOT raising my boys exactly right. The book was Wild Things: The Art of Nurturing Boys. I've been reading it to Mark and we've both been enjoying it and learning a lot. It isn't one of those feel good books that says, "no one raises them perfect so it's okay..." But the book didn't directly criticize my parenting either. It just offered tips for how to handle certain situations appropriately, and I realized that I had been doing the opposite of those tips. Example: The book says don't verbally and emotionally overwhelm your boy. Well, when Caleb had been having trouble hitting friends at his old school, I was doing exactly that. I felt the need to impress upon him how he was making the other child feel, and I was trying to get the point across that this was serious stuff. I guess I was being too intense, confrontational, and essentially bombarding Caleb with emotional and verbal information that he probably could not handle.

Instead of blaming myself and feeling guilty, I resolved to do better now that I know better, and I found a new appreciation for my parents. Not only did my mom and dad get it right a lot of the time, but they are not going to be the last of our family line to get it wrong once in a while. I am continuing that legacy. I am not always going to get it right. 2 Kings 2:7 says it--I may not sin the same as my parents, but I will still sin. I am going to make my own mistakes as a parent, even though they will be different mistakes than those of my parents.

So I think as a daughter, I need to give my parents a break. Instead of analyzing their mistakes, I should start analyzing where they went right! And try to mimic that behavior. My mom is a very loving woman, and she's really good at redirecting my kids; I should try to be more like that. And my dad is awesome to talk to (not that my mom isn't, but for different things). I don't think my boys have good talks with him yet, but they will. And I should try to establish a relationship with my boys where they can talk to me like that.

But I won't stop reading the parenting books--it doesn't hurt to look for more guidance, so long as it guides me towards improvement and not towards criticism, guilt, or despair. So as Mark and I continue to glean more understanding from our book, think about how you appreciate your parents. Do you strive to see the good in how they raised you? Or do you focus on the bad? Do we do the same with our spouses, and focus on what they are doing wrong rather than what they do right? After all, Romans 3:23 says, "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." We may not sin the same as our parents (or our spouses) but we still sin. So let's focus on two things: (1)Strive for atonement and relationship with God, and (2) focusing on the good in our family members. I think these two things go hand-in-hand. God bless you this week!

(Oh and if you have boys, try reading Wild Things: The Art of Nurturing Boys. It has many insights and speaks about nurturing the positive qualities of boys "being boys", and working with the negative qualities. Mark and I are only about half way through the book, but so far we're hooked.)

1 comment:

  1. I think I need to get that book. I do think that I overwhelm my boys with my analysis and emotional reactions to what they are going through. Thanks for this post.